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11 year old Stet, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, loves to sing. When his mom dies and his absent dad packs him off to an elite choir school, he has the chance to develop his unique talent, yet the odds are stacked against him.


The 11 year old Stet comes from quite a dysfunctional family. The father is long gone and the mother is an alcoholic. In school he is most known for talking back. The only thing he enjoys is singing. When the principal brings the head of the “National Boychoir” to his school he screws up the audition on purpose. His mother dies in a car accident a short time after and his father, who wants to hide Stet from his new family, buys him a spot in the elite school choir. This is how Stet gets a second chance. The young boy, who lags behind the upper-class children at school, misses his mother, and is mistrusted by choirmaster Carvelle (Dustin Hoffman), has the cards stacked against him. Stet asserts himself with the teachers and his biggest competition, a blonde solo soprano ala Draco Malfoy, with the help of his talent and passion. Competently acted but with an uninspired plot, BOYCHOIR treads on familiar ground. Dustin Hoffmann imbues the enigmatic Carvelle with the usual Hoffman charm but does not give the impression that he ever directed a choir in his life. The soft Garrett Wareing makes for an unconvincing juvenile delinquent and music lover. Kathy Bates as the school’s cynical financial officer adds some most welcome unpredictable twists and turns. Francois Girard (LE VIOLON ROUGE) seems to have focused on the ethereal singing far more than on character development, and the former makes one feel like floating on air at certain moments.

Toni Ohms

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Boychoir
USA 2014, 103 min
Genre: Drama
Director: François Girard
Author: Ben Ripley
DOP: David Franco
Montage: Gaétan Huot
Music: Brian Byrne
Distributor: Universum Film / SquareOne Entertainment
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Debra Winger, Josh Lucas, Kathy Bates, Eddie Izzard, Kevin McHale, Garrett Wareing
Release: 27.08.2015


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