Explain how Les choristes represents French cinema of its time and what social phenomenon the film reflects. What theme/main idea is being delivered by the film?

Les choristes represents French cinema of its time by displaying a growing commercial awareness. The film’s conventional trope of a teacher inspiring troubled children makes it seem like a feel-good Hollywood movie rather than a traditional French film. The main idea delivered by the film is that treating children with kindness and consideration gets the best out of them.

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Les choristes was one of a number of films produced at this time—2004—that displayed an unabashed commercialism. Christophe Barratier’s story of a failed musician inspiring a group of troubled boys at a boarding school is a classic example of feel-good movie making, the kind almost guaranteed to rake in substantial...

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Les choristes was one of a number of films produced at this time—2004—that displayed an unabashed commercialism. Christophe Barratier’s story of a failed musician inspiring a group of troubled boys at a boarding school is a classic example of feel-good movie making, the kind almost guaranteed to rake in substantial sums of money at the box-office.

At every stage of the film, the audience’s emotions are being expertly manipulated in such a way as to hold our attention. And Barratier’s none-too-subtle manipulations work like a charm. We instinctively sympathize with the failed musician Mathieu, who achieves redemption by inspiring a rag-bag group of troubled boys at a boarding school with a love of music. We also will the boys on as they grow and develop through their music lessons.

In the conventional manner of Hollywood films with a similar “inspirational teacher” trope, such as Dead Poets’ Society, Mathieu is challenged by stern, unbending authority figures who prefer to do things the old way. The authoritarian headmaster of the school, Rachin, is the antithesis of the film’s overarching idea, that kindness, consideration, and empathy, the kind displayed by Mathieu, are more conducive to getting the best out of children than the imposition of harsh discipline.

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