In 1949, an unassuming teacher named Clement Mathieu (Jugnot) joins the faculty of a rigid boarding school for troubled boys. The intractable headmaster, M. Rachin (Berleand), responds to any transgression with corporeal punishment, fulfilling his motto: "Action. Reaction!" When Clement tries to lighten the atmosphere by founding a choral group, Rachin deems it counterproductive and shuts it down. But Clement believes he's onto something, and takes the chorus underground. Soon, the positive power of music and teamwork is amply demonstrated, and the chorus sings in the open.
A celebration of the influence and importance of mentors (and music) in our lives, Barratier's warm, touching film captures the unquenchable spirit of children, and, in Jugnot's round, kindly face, the countenance and concern of a born teacher. With period detail lovingly rendered, and Berleand's uptight headmaster a comic study in contrasts, "The Chorus" is an evocative, charming crowd-pleaser that will make you feel like singing.