The Chorus

Rated 3.0

In the late 1940s, a new teacher at a boarding school for incorrigible boys (Gérard Jugnot) tries to instill discipline and self-esteem in his students by molding them into a singing group, despite the disapproval of his petty, tyrannical headmaster (François Berléand). Anybody who’s ever seen a movie about a teacher can see where this one is headed—can you say Mr. Holland’s Opus, Goodbye Mr. Chips or Dead Poets Society?—and there’s the nagging suspicion that in real life these hard-boiled young toughs would scoff at all this choirboy warbling as strictly for sissies. Still, director Christophe Barratier (who co-wrote the movie with Philippe Lopes-Curval) gives the movie a slick persuasiveness, and Jugnot makes an appealing sad-sack hero. Then, too, music hath charms—the singing really is beautiful.