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The Chorus [2004] Les Choristes (Eng Subs)

G?rard Jugnot , Fran?ois Berl?and , Christophe Barratier    DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
Price: £9.95
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The Chorus [2004] Les Choristes (Eng Subs) + Petit Nicolas [DVD] + Etre Et Avoir [DVD] [2002]
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Product details

  • Actors: G?rard Jugnot, Fran?ois Berl?and, Jean-Baptiste Maunier
  • Directors: Christophe Barratier
  • Format: Dolby, Colour
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,491 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Fond de l'Etang is a boarding school for troubled boys located in the French countryside. In the mid-twentieth century, it is run by the principal M. Rachin, an egotistical disciplinarian whose official unofficial mantra for the school is "action - reaction", meaning that there will be severe consequences for any boy out of line. This approach does not seem to be working as the boys as a collective are an unruly bunch. In turn, the teachers don't teach, but are always watching out for the next subversive act from the boys. January 15, 1949 marks the arrival to the school of the new supervisor, M. Cl?ment Mathieu, a middle-aged man who is grasping at finding his place in life after a series of failed endeavors. Although he does find the boys an unruly lot, Mathieu does not believe in the "action - reaction" policy, and as such, butts heads with Rachin while secretly undermining the policy...

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 27 May 2007
By Katie
This is a wonderful film. Its moving, slightly sad, and heart-warming. I watched it first at school with my GCSE standards French, in French, with French subtitles. Although I didn't understand all the details, I still enjoyed it immensely, and however you watch it, it is amazing. I had the song "Les Choristes" in my head for days.

The film begins in the future, and then is mostly a flashback. A new teacher arrives at Fond D'Etang, a school for difficult boys, to teach music, and immediately discovers the harsh discipline and the bad behaviour which forced the man he is replacing to retire. His unusual methods soon warm the boys to him, and he achieves a lot. There is some wonderful music, especially the soloist, Pierre. Pepinot, a very young boy, is adorable, and he partly gives the film its touching ending.

Whatever standard your French is, even if you watch it in English; whether you like this sort of music or not, you cannot fail to love this film. It's hard for me to put my finger on what exactly makes it appeal so much to me, but the characters are probably its best feature. They are well developed, lovable (or hatable, in the headmaster's case) and they make the film stick in your mind. Make sure you give this a try!
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 1 April 2007
By Rosanne
Beautiful film. The cinematography, script and characterizations are just perfect, and the plot moves along nicely. A good, harmless film.

Don't be put off by the subtitles, the characters and plot make you forget you have to read them, even if French is not your first language.

I loved every moment of this, and watched it twice two days running. Gorgeous.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad but enjoyable 6 Oct 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A rich and enjoyable film about the power of music and how it can inspire comfort and bring hope. It's one of those French films that make me wonder why we in the UK can't manage to produce something similar. Instead we look to mimic the US market all the time or make endless films about sludgy violent miserable lives in inner city areas.

This film is about a boys reform school where conditions and treatment of the boys are harsh but it was uplifting nevertheless. I felt there were one or two loose story ends that might have been pursued a little further. Basically I would have liked another 20 minutes of it. But loved the ending. Well worth watching and well worth buying to have on your shelf.
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really rather wonderful 19 Mar 2006
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
It's easy enough to dismiss this French tale of a failed schoolteacher reforming both the pupils and staff of a boarding school for difficult boys by starting a choir as Monsieur Holland's Opus, Au Revoir Monsieur Pommes Frittes or even Societe des Poets Mort (although it is a remake of a 1945 film La Cage aux Rossingols that predates most of them), but it's done so well that it's impossible not to be won over by it. Sentimental? Sure, but its honest sentiment that doesn't overdose on artificial sweeteners. Gerard Jugnot beautifully underplays the lead, although all the cast are impressive, but the real star of the film is Bruno Coulais and Christophe Barratier's music, avoiding the dirges for some genuinely beautiful and affecting pieces that give the film wings. It's probably the kind of film its easy for some to dislike sight unseen as typical 'export cinema' (not only does it share its framing-device structure with Cinema Paradiso, but actor-producer Jacques Perrin even plays the role of the conductor returning to his hometown for a funeral!), but it's all done so very well that it's nigh-on impossible not to be won over.

The DVD offers a good 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, trailer and a good 72-minute documentary. Highly recommended.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple perfection - a must see 31 Jan 2007
A gem of a film, nominated for two Oscars.

Set in 1949, it is the story of a music teacher forced to take a job as classroom assistant in a boarding school for difficult boys. To deal with rampant disobedience he decides to engage the kids through music; he also has to contend with a sadistic headmaster and a staff of true oddballs.

Gérard Jugnot is a wonderfully offbeat hero and Christophe Barratier's direction evokes post-war France to perfection. This is worth getting on DVD for the unmissable extras - the fascinating "making of feature" is as long as the film and probably the best I have ever seen. Great for anyone learning French!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two films in one 22 Aug 2005
When it comes to sentimentality, the French can always be counted upon to bring a touch of class to what might otherwise be saccharine. "Les Choristes" could easily have become yet another, banal paean to the good man endeavouring to bring humanity to a school run by a tyrant (a tale which Dickens cornered for a very sentimental Victorian market): that it rises above the mundane is due to excellent direction, a superb cast, and a script which foregoes the obligatory happy ending.
The film opens with a scene which recalls 'Cinema Paradiso', with the successful maestro being called back to relive his childhood and rediscover the man who had transformed his life by giving him self-confidence, self-respect, and an abiding passion. We step back, down the years, to post-War France, there to meet the unassuming little schoolteacher who is about to start a new job in a boarding school for orphans and strays.
Clément (Gérard Jugnot) sets about transforming an abusive, exploitative regime by forming a bunch of the boys into a choir. In doing so, he gives them discipline and self-discipline, a sense of self worth, and the potential for clandestine rebellion against the school's headmaster. While the process also involves Clément in a rediscovery of his own passion for music and commitment to teaching as a transformative, not a controlling profession, it also leads to him falling in love with the mother of one of the boys.
There are echoes of post-War France - the struggle to rediscover democracy and throw off the bureaucratic shackles and centralist politics which would dog the Republic in the post-Vichy years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally satisfying story with songs that haunt ever after
One of the best films made. Typically French in its period style, but setting will be recognised and appreciated by Francophiles everywhere. Read more
Published 10 days ago by perfumedpig
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great film ! A must see
Published 20 days ago by Adriana Sanchez R
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice story, good music
I am a French teacher and watched this with a year 8 class. They enjoyed the film and so did I.
Published 1 month ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars The Chorus
I do not really enjoy watching films with subtitles however this was excellent. Two of my friends have watched it and they also loved it.
Published 1 month ago by Pauline Westbury
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth seeing!
I liked this French film. It's about a boarding school care-taker who is appointed to a school with troubled children. Read more
Published 2 months ago by rachel
5.0 out of 5 stars A film to watch again and again.
Beautifully acted and a story that will hold your interest. It is set in 1949 in France. I teach and all my pupils love this film, even the cynical, bored of everything ones. Read more
Published 3 months ago by carol joy
5.0 out of 5 stars Summery of the French film The Chorus
This really is a very nice film, the copy I had was very sharp and clear almost up to Blu Ray standard on my player. Read more
Published 4 months ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch this film now!
This is such a great film with amazing music - I bought the soundtrack after watching it & I listen to it all the time. I would love to join a choir & sing some of these songs! Read more
Published 4 months ago by beckalina
5.0 out of 5 stars Firstly, I like films in a foreign language: Recognised none of the...
It was a "feel good" film with a difference but it wasn't over sentimental. Also it had the advantage of being topical in view
of investigations into standards into... Read more
Published 5 months ago by jeanimich
5.0 out of 5 stars great film
I love this film even after seeing it many times. the music is lovely and the main characters voice amazing - the story is interesting. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs Sara J McSweeney
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