The Choristers: A Half-Miracle Happens [critique]

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  The Choristers: A Half-Miracle Happens [critique]

Gérard Jugnot is in the spotlight this weekend on France 2.

This Sunday, France 2 will give carte blanche to Gerard Jugnot, by rebroadcasting first The chorists, followed by Mr. Batignole. Two ambitious productions, which seduced First when they were released, in 2004 and 2002. Especially the musical film by Christophe Barratier, which attracted 8.5 million cinema viewers at the time, has since been delighting the small screen by finding its audience with each replay. It follows the story of Clément Mathieu (Jugnot, therefore), unemployed music teacher, who accepts a post as supervisor in a rehabilitation boarding school for minors, in 1948; the repressive system applied by the director, Rachin (François Berléand), upsets Mathieu. By introducing these difficult children to music and choral singing, Mathieu will succeed in transforming their daily lives.

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Here is an excerpt from Mathieu Carratier’s review, published in First. If he first regretted the lack of originality of the project (“School as a remedy for delinquency, we eat it about every three months”), he then confessed that “Against all expectations (and our bad faith), a half-miracle occurs. Already, the film is neat: Christophe Barratier makes cinema, unlike many of his colleagues who seem more concerned by the broadcast in prime-time on TF1 only through theatrical exploitation. Where it becomes downright suspect is when one realizes that he manages to arouse a real emotion, which is felt without the slightest shame or feeling of being held hostage by a draft artificial good feelings. The chorists is thinner than that and offers a comfortable setting in which it is pleasant to take refuge for an hour and a half. It is certainly the harbinger of success that may be programmed, but not usurped. “

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