The kid's got a fine set of lungs, but this sappy drama hits one too many grating, off-key notes
If your idea of edge-of-the-seat tension is whether or not a pre-pubescent choirboy is going to hit high D, welcome to your movie of the year. Everyone else: you might want to pack a pair of earplugs.
Young Texas tearaway Stet (Garrett Wareing) may have an alcoholic mother and a bad attitude, but he does have one thing going for him: the voice of an angel. Oh, and an impossibly rich dad (Josh Lucas), who comes in handy when Stet’s mum dies suddenly and he’s is packed off to the prestigious American Boychoir School (a name that sounds like Derek Zoolander thought it up).
There, he comes into conflict with a taskmaster singing tutor (Dustin Hoffman). But put aside all thoughts of ‘Whiplash’-style intensity; it’s not long before these two find common ground, and Stet wows the choir-loving masses with his dog-pitched squeak and cheeky ’70s bowlcut.
‘The Choir’ is decently directed, competently performed and mostly watchable, but it’s saccharine and totally unworthy of its impressive cast (Kathy Bates, Debra Winger and Eddie Izzard also appear). With every plot twist signposted and every fuzzy-feely emotional beat overegged, you’ll be screeching louder than the kids before the curtain falls.
Cast and crew