Out Now On-Demand
Find your voice, dare to dream.
A troubled 11-year-old boy at a prestigious music school clashes with the school's demanding choir master (Dustin Hoffman) in this uplifting drama co-starring Kathy Bates, Josh Lucas, Debra Winger and Glee's Kevin McHale.
"Stet (Garrett Wareing) is an angry 11-year-old who can sing like an angel. Left an orphan after his mother is killed in a car accident, Stet ends up in an East Coast musical boarding school - a place about as different from his small Texas town as can be. Feeling misunderstood, out of place, and frustrated with the cards life has dealt him, Stet finds himself at odds with Choirmaster Carvelle (Hoffman), a disciplinarian of the old school. But Carvelle recognizes something in Stet's voice, and pushes the boy to put his troubled young soul into the music." (Toronto International Film Festival)
Rating: PG Violence and coarse language
Boys to men isn’t just the name of a boy band, it’s a Hollywood genre staple. From Luke shedding his childish ways in Star Wars, to Harry growing up in the Potter series, adolescents have been making the move to manhood ever since Brando sneered as The Wild One, and Dean pouted through Rebel Without a Cause.
Director François Girard’s predictable but enjoyable tale takes a nugget of truth (there really is a US Boychoir School), for a coming of age drama. Stet, (Garrett Wareing), is a troubled young Texan orphan, who finds himself under the tutelage of Dustin Hoffman’s choirmaster version of Master Shifu, the character he voiced in Kung Fu Panda. It’s the familiar, kind-hearted, but demanding teacher role cinemagoers know so well from the likes of Coach Carter and Mr Holland’s Opus.
Hoffman’s ably supported by a cast of familiar faces, including Debra Winger, Kathy Bates, and comedian-turned-unconvincing-actor, Eddie Izzard. But the stars have little to do, in a story short on incident or insight. Slight and undemanding, Boychoir pales by comparison with the taught power of the likes of Whiplash, or the sparkling wit of Billy Elliott.
Forgive the cinematic clichés, and a screenplay that’s all surface and no depth, and you’re left with Hoffman’s always engaging presence, and a gorgeously realised score that’s worth the price of admission alone. As a family-friendly melodrama, replete with tear-jerker scenes, heart-warming, if familiar, movie moments, and some darn fine music, Boychoir amounts to a formulaic but oh-so-guilty pleasure.
Sydney Morning Herald
Urban Cinefile (Australia)
New York Times
Story was okay. Bit slow in parts. Was well acted. Finished as expected.
Story line was cliched and not really engaging or believable. Have heard better singing. Dustin Hoffman rather annoying and Debra Winger wasted in a minor role.
It was ok
I'm sing in a choir so some bits were good. Not as engaging as I 'd hoped. It's not Billy Elliot for choirs but on a rainy day it'll kill time.
Well worth seeing, a reasonably engaging story, well acted if somewhat predictable.