Boychoir Good Will Hunting or Vocal Whiplash is the best way to describe Francois Girard’s The Choir. This low key drama follows troubled Stet (Garrett Wareing), an 11 year old who is shipped-off to a boy choir boarding school following the death of his mother. Stet fights against the authority of his teachers and peers but he’s given a shot at proving his worth by Dustin Hoffman’s grouchy schoolmaster.
The Choir is a good old-fashioned triumph over adversity drama that may offer very little new to the genre but it hits the mark by achieving what it sets out to do. Girard has assembled an impressive cast that sees Hoffman join Josh Lucas, Kathy Bates, Eddie Izzard and Debra Winger. Young newcomer Garret Wareing holds his own as the young troublemaker – although you have to wonder how quickly Stet would have improved his behaviour if someone had given him a much needed smack.
It’s always great to see Dustin Hoffman on screen and while The Choir doesn’t challenge the acting veteran it does offer him the chance deliver a few rousing moments of inspiration to the young cast. However, it’s not just the performances that hold The Choir together. Brian Byrne’s score and David Franco’s cinematography add a subtle melancholy to the onscreen drama in Francois Girard’s film.
It’s hardly revelatory, but The Choir is a steady drama with good performances. It’s a well intentioned piece that is worth checking out – even if you have little interest in choral music!
The Choir comes with a trailer and 23 minutes of interview clips with director Francois Girard and the stars of the movie (sadly minus Dustin Hoffman). Solid.