28 Nov 2009

Movie Magic: Le Concert

I think this is my favourite movie of the year so far.

I walked out of the cinema with tears in my eyes and yet feeling completely zen. A Franco-Russian musical fairy tale. :o)

I don't want to give too much away (I never know when to stop when talking about a movie), so here's a translation on the recap on the Europacorp YouTube channel (where I got the above trailer), which pretty much covers all the information you get in the trailer:
In Brejnev's time, Andrei Filipov was the greatest orchestra conductor of the Soviet Union and headed the famous Bolchoï Orchestra. But after having refused to get rid of his jewish musicians -including his best friend Sacha- he was fired at the height of his glory.
Thirty years later, he still works at the Bolchoï, but as a cleaner. One evening, while Andreï stayed late to clean the boss's office, he stumbles across a fax addressed to the director of the Bolchoï: an official  invitation for the Bolchoï orchestra to give a concert in the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Andreï gets this crazy inspiration: why not reunite his old musician friends, who currently get by doing odd jobs here and there, take them to Paris impersonating the (current) Bolchoï? The perfect revenge...

A truly European film... I lost track (during the credits) of the number of participating countries, but IMDB lists them as France, Belgium, Rumania and Italy. Directed and scripted by Rumanian Radu Mihaileanu, who states that some of the rather hilarious French dialogue (spoken by the Russians once they arrive in Paris) is taken from his personal life when he arrived in France once upon a time... The actors are a mix of Russian and French. Aleksei Guskov is excellent as the passionate (if rather Tchaikovski-obsessed) conductor Andreï Filipov, and Mélanie Laurent (recently seen in Inglorious Basterds) is delightful (and beautiful) as the star violonist he must have as his soloïst for the eponymous concert (Concert for Violin in Re major Op.35 by Tchaikovski).

I'll just wrap this up by saying that I totally enjoyed it and would probably go see it again before I left if there weren't so many other films I'm trying to catch before heading back south (but it will definitely be on my dvd wish-list!). And the music?.... goose-bumps!

If you understand French then you should check out the official website:
There are lots of fun goodies: bits of music, info about the movie, cast & crew, and video snippets (including a very amusing one: "les russes parlent français")

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