Friday, October 02, 2015

We Owe It All to Coordinated Song

Maybe all a school of problem boys needs is one very special music teacher to inspire them. Probably not, but it's the idea behind 2004's The Chorus (Les Choristes), a completely unadventurous, by the numbers film of the inspirational teacher genre that nonetheless manages some genuine charm.

Clement Mathieu (Gerard Jugnot) accepts a position as the new prefect at a boarding school for delinquent boys in 1949. He finds them under the cruel stewardship of Headmaster Rachin (Francois Berleand) who responds to pranks and tardiness with physical and psychological abuse.

But Clement has a secret love for music the boys soon discover when one of them steals the contents of his satchel--music sheets. He's a frustrated composer. With really astonishing speed, Clement turns the boys into a chorus and trains their voices, apparently having won their goodwill by consistently not ratting students out to Rachin. Only one student resists Clement's instruction, Pierre (Jean-Baptiste Maunier), who also, of course, happens to be a prodigy soloist singer.

It's only a matter of time before Clement has gently coaxed the boy around his distrust of the world that's never understood or been as kind as it ought to be to him and like gooey dough carefully baked in an oven, the movie rises to become as soft, warm, and unremarkable as fresh bread.

Sometimes it is nice to have a sweet little unambitious thing, though, so if you've had a couple glasses of wine and don't feel like getting up from the couch, this movie may assist you in feeling a little tender.

Twitter Sonnet #796

Brains pulverised are then humbled by slime.
A tick on an umbrella border scrapes
Nominal metronome visions of time.
On ears the cricket walks a god's sleep-scapes.
A muffin outpost wells with tartan cloth.
Damask print photographs occupy blue.
Erroneous the evil mountain's moth
Descends to wake the saucer ray anew.
Reflected rain burns up the glass in white.
A blocked ice floe of fingernails applauds.
Choked cotton dreams reveal a mindless spite.
The ants and chickadees fall under odds.
Transparent beds show waiting honey cells.
The air conditioned wind percussed the bells.

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