I attended TIFF for one reason and one reason only, Boychoir. After swooning over François Girard's The Red Violin I was looking forward to a beautiful story set to beautiful music. I was not disappointed. The story is told in sections, reminiscent of Violin. In the case of Boychoir, however, it is not necessary and, as a result, the story does not flow seamlessly. The audience will easily fill in the gaps though and will be quickly won over by what Girard knows best – the music.
From start to finish, the music is breathtaking. The music of American Boychoir provides the thread that the story lacks. Not only does the music provide the thread, it provides the heart of the story as well. You will catch yourself smiling as the boys, known for their sophistication, sing a silly song when no one is looking. You will shed a tear when angelic voices rise to meet the demands of their choir master. The music is in equal measure haunting and uplifting. The members of American Boychoir, who were not recreated but actually recruited for this film, look like seasoned veterans on screen. It is clear that the music is a part of them and singing appears as natural as breathing.
Newcomer Garrett Wareing is subtle in his performance and a joy to watch. Veterans Dustin Hoffman, Eddie Izzard, Josh Lucas and Debra Winger undoubtedly earn their paycheck. Kathy Bates has some wonderful lines and delivers them brilliantly.
But the beautiful music of Boychoir is what lingers long after the credits roll.