Boychoir (G) ****

High Note!

Director Francois Girard hits all the right notes in Boychoir, a dazzling tour de force from Mongrel Media. Though not as stirring as last year’s Whiplash spectacular this musical treat still is original and highly enjoyable. Plus it has a major league cast. Fit for all to see, check out this entertaining drama at The Fifth Avenue Cinemas.

Not everyone in life has an easy go of it. Troubled youth Stet seems destined for a future that’s bleak and unrewarding. Cast as the maligned 11 year old boy is Garrett Waering in a stirring film debut. Consider Stet to have a big chip on his shoulder. Being raised by a single parent is hard enough. Throw in addiction problems, family tragedy and assorted other issues and you can sense that this kid is a ticking time bomb. Authority figures are not what this boy looks up to.

Despite all the pent up rage and anger in this kid’s life he has a talent for singing. With a voice like an angel the boy gets the chance of a lifetime when he moves out of town to Boychoir, a prestigious music school. Even there the knives come out early and often as this hidden new talent runs counter to the status quo embedded in the current students who come from a privileged background,

Elements of bullying, peer pressure and an uncaring family ramp up the stakes in this satisfying drama. Infighting among the stuffy teachers at the music academy also are appealing with Oscar winning Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate) in his element as a discerning choir master. With a cast that includes Kathy Bates (Misery) and Josh Lucas (Glory Road) Boychoir boasts a good story. Impressive singing that takes us behind the scenes into the high stakes world of competitive ensemble singing help make Boychoir an entertaining journey complete with struggles, letdowns and achievements.

By Robert Waldmanboychoir