The Choir is a nicely shot film, featuring an endearing protagonist and suitably goofy (and pleasingly multiracial) young co-stars, exalted by beautiful musical moments.
Besides the aforementioned merits and the occasional insight into the bittersweet nature of choirboys’ ephemeral talent, it is hard to find much to admire.
The Choir is manipulative and trite. Numerous plot issues, stock characters and an unrelenting soundtrack result in a feature that is perplexing and confused.
What truly undoes the film is the prioritisation of pathos over realism or character development, which prompts a bizarre level of callousness. The father-son storyline borders on sociopathic.
Despite some likeable moments and perhaps future iTunes success, too much of this film is mediocre and, despite all efforts, emotionally monotonal.
CAST: Dustin Hoffman, Josh Lucas, Kevin McHale, Debra Winger, Garrett Wareing, Kathy Bates
DIRECTOR: François Girard
WRITER: Ben Ripley
SYNOPSIS: A troubled and angry 11-year-old orphan is moved back East after the death of his single mum, and is enrolled in a Boy Choir school. It is an uncomfortable transition for Stet (Wareing), as he confronts a demanding Choir Master (Hoffman) who recognises a unique talent in the young boy.