|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Production country:||USA 2014|
|Running time:||Approx. 104 min.|
|Rated:||From 0 years|
12-year-old Stet (Garrett Wareing) is truly no easy student. But the boy has top-notch musical talent that his teacher (Debra Winger) is eager to nurture. After the accidental death of Stet's mother, the boy is to transfer to the most prestigious choir school in the country, where his talent can be developed while also learning respect and responsibility. Through the influence of his father (Josh Lucas), whom Stet only meets after his mother's death, the boy gets the coveted spot. But energetic choir director Carvelle (Dustin Hoffman) is reluctant to believe that Stet can muster the dedication necessary to live up to the school's standards. But against all odds, he grows not only a love for music, but also a belief in himself. Stet seems to have finally arrived on the right path - until a nasty prank by his classmates could ruin everything...
The Chorus - Voices of the Heart is utterly predictable, cheesy, clichéd - yet hits right at the heart. Of course, with its deliberate use of musical goosebumps, the production can be seen as highly manipulative. And it's probably right that director Francois Girard isn't singled out for narrative finesse here. But even if the film has many deserved criticisms, it makes up for most of them by spreading a tremendous feel-good vibe that can only be avoided with a heavy dose of cynicism.
Those who are prepared to simply be treated to a beautiful story with the typical you-can-do-it morality might well be charmed by this choral fairy tale. Besides the music and the atmospheric imagery, this is also ensured by a wonderful Dustin Hoffman as usual and new discovery Garrett Wareing. Even though if you look closely you'll notice that the boy has been doubled in the singing scenes, his acting is still really convincing overall. Yes, Stet is the stereotype of a rebellious boy who transforms into a true model student through his love of music. But Wareing still manages to make this character interesting and sympathetic, so that as an audience member you definitely sympathize with his fate.
The Chorus - Voices of the Heart wants to achieve nothing more than to make its audience happy with the music and the simply knit story. And it succeeds very well in that. Those who are looking for more depth, dreary realism or dramaturgical originality will of course be bitterly disappointed. But if you just want to leave the cinema with a smile on your face and music in your heart, this is absolutely the right movie for you. And for that there is then also a more than deserved: Worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp