Chorus, The
PG-13
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -1

A remake of a 1945 French film, The Chorus (Les Choristes) is set in 1949 at a school for troubled boys. It follows the short career of Clment Mathieu (Grard Jugnot), a failed middle-aged musician who takes a teaching job at the Le Fond de lEtang (i.e., Rock Bottom) boarding school. When he arrives, Mathieu finds a violent, disrespectful bunch of boys struggling under an authoritarian principal (Franois Berland) who has no hope for them and can never quite keep them under control. While taken aback by the hardness of the children and of the school staff, Mathieu still retains hope for them. He shows them love and gentleness, and he also conducts his own personal experiment in discipline by introducing them to music. Mathieu forms the boys into a choir, exposing them to a beauty and peace, which they had never known before. And through the music, Mathieu finally breaks through to help them.

The Chorus is reminiscent of several American films like Stand and Deliver, in which a teacher demonstrates a profound faith in his students while investing his own life in theirs. The difference is the setting. This sentimental film takes place in a harsher environment, almost like a prison, with students who are rejected, forgotten and hopeless misfits. But Mathieu, unique among their teachers, does not believe that the boys are a lost cause. Instead, he invests in them with his own kind of redemptive, musical love and sees marvelous results. Christian audiences may notice a parallel to Christs redemptive love for the hopeless and helpless world. Jesus invested His life in and died for those who did not deserve it and so accomplished their salvation. Despite being an interesting movie with a profound message, Preview does caution viewers due to a few vulgarities, sexual references and violence involving children.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
Distributor: Miramax

Summary
Crude Language: Few (3) times moderate (other 3)
Obscene Language: Several (6) times moderate (p-ss 2); strong (s-word 3, other 1)
Profanity: None
Violence: Several times mild (boys shove and struggle with each other, boy throws ink bottle at man); moderate (repeated scenes of unruly behavior and corporal punishment of children, man shown with a bloody wound, man punishes boy with paddle, man slaps boy repeatedly in the face, boy chokes man, man threatens boys with violence, boy threatens man)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times mild (man incorrectly suspects another man of pedophilia, boys look at girls and are curious about seeing girls naked, reference to a womans lover); moderate (boy sings a crude song about self-gratification)
Drug Abuse: Few times mild (boys shown smoking a few times)
Other: Appropriate use of God and Christ in classical style choral music, portrayal of philosophies of discipline, troubled boys, broken families
Running Time: 97 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)