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DVD Review: Le Concert (The Concert)

May 10, 2011

Le Concert (The Concert) – An eOne Films’ Release

http://www.weinsteinco.com/#/film/the_concert

DVD Release Date: May 10th, 2011

Rated 14A for coarse languge, not recommended for young children

Running time: 123 minutes

Radu Mihaileanu (dir.)

Héctor Cabello Reyes (original story)

Thierry Degrandi (original story)

Armand Amar (music)

Alexeï Guskov as Andrei Filipov

Dmitri Nazarov as Sacha Grossman

Mélanie Laurent as Anne-Marie Jacquet

Miou-Miou Guylène de La Rivière

Our reviews below:

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Le Concert (The Concert) DVD Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

Thirty years ago, Andrei Filipov (Alexeï Guskov) was a famed conductor for Russia’s renowned Bolshoi Orchestra.  After being literally kicked off the stage for simply being Jewish, he’s now working as their janitor.  When he intercepts an incoming fax inviting the orchestra to play in Paris, he recruits a group of fellow musicians including the mysterious Anne-Marie Jacquet (Mélanie Laurent) to pose as the Bolshoi.

Although the pacing is somewhat long at 123-minutes, Le Concert (The Concert) is worth seeing for the good performances, beautiful music and several scenes that deliver inspired laughs.  It won’t be for everybody, but this is an entertaining little film that is worth a look on DVD and will be best appreciated by those who enjoy foreign cinema and classical music.

The DVD includes the film’s trailer.

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Le Concert (The Concert) DVD Review by Erin V.  

*** (out of 4)

Le Concert follows Andrei Filipov, a Maestro who was fired from his position in Russia back in 1980, after refusing to remove the Jewish members of the Bolshoi.  Now working at the Bolshoi as a janitor, he accidentally intercepts a fax meant for the real director, inviting them to Paris to play in a prestigious concert.  In a stroke of impulsive genius, he gets his old orchestra members back together to impersonate the real Bolshoi and finally have the comeback they’ve been waiting for 30 years.

Featuring a lot of classical music (mainly Tchaikovsky), musicians and classical music lovers alike will enjoy this one, but the majority of mainstream audiences without a taste for foreign cinema may find it a little long.  Overall, this is a story well told with light comedic elements, and I enjoyed its style and music.

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Le Concert (The Concert) DVD Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

Le Concert is a charming comedy about the uniting power of music.  Andrei Filipov (Alexeï Guskov) is a janitor for Russia’s prestigous Bolshoi Orchestra.  Thirty years ago, he was the Bolshoi’s conducor, until a Communist party member booted Filipov and his fellow musicians off the stage, simply because they were Jewish.  One day, he discovers an invitation for the Bolshoi to play in Paris.  In an effort to make up for what happened in the past, he decides to recruit both his original orchestra as well as a group of Roma folk musicians to pose as the real Bolshoi.  Can Filipov and his fellow musicians pull off the ultimate prank?

Le Concert is heartwarming and funny, as it takes the music of Tchaikovsky and weaves it into a story about standing up against oppression.  This is a must-see for anyone who loves classical music.

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Le Concert (The Concert) DVD Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

Sometimes revenge is sweet, and in the case of Le Concert, funny and charming too.  With Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto in the starring role, this is a real treat for those who appreciate the Russian master’s music.

The story revolves around Andrei Filipov (Alexeï Guskov) a janitor at Russia’s Bolshoi Orchestra house.  Thirty years earlier Filipov was the conductor of the famous orchestra until during the Brezhnev era he was fired while conducting a Tchaikovsky concert along with his Jewish musicians.  He plots revenge thirty years later when he intercepts a fax for the Bolshoi Orchestra inviting them to perform in Paris.  His plan involves rounding up his old musician buddies and convincing them to sneak away to Paris and performing in place of the actual Bolshoi.  The results are sweet and funny.

With a running time of two hours and subtitles for the Russian and French dialogue Le Concert will appeal mainly to those who are fans of classical music.  This is a charming change of pace from the usual Hollywood films.

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Le Concert (The Concert) DVD Review By Tony

***1/2 (out of 4)

Le Concert is a comedy about the attempt by Andrei Filipov (Alexeï Guskov) distinguished former conductor of the Moscow Bolshoi orchestra, to bring an orchestra to Le Châtelet in Paris for a concert. In 1980, Filipov was kicked off the stage as an “enemy of the people” in the middle of a concert along with all his Jewish musicians. Now a janitor, he has intercepted the invitation to Paris and with his best Jewish friend Sacha (Dmitri Nazarov) pulls together as many former colleagues as he can, confident that even after 30 years they are better than the real Bolshoi orchestra. With the cooperation of his former Communist nemesis (Valeriy Barinov) as a manager and the musical and black market talents of his Roma friends, he just might pull it off, but once in Paris the whole caper could drown in a sea of vodka. There is an interesting twist in his choice of the brilliant young soloist Anne-Marie Jacquet (Mélanie Laurent) over the objections of her manager and former guardian (Miou Miou).

Le Concert was conceived and directed by Radu Mihaileanu, himself of Romanian Jewish origin, who defected to Paris in 1980. As such he is uniquely adept at bringing out the absurdities of the plot as a satire of the former Communist bloc, the current Russia under the oligarchs, and Paris society by contrast. The distinguished Russian, French and Romanian cast, filmed in Bucharest, Moscow and Paris, are all excellent, with the intensity of Guskov and poignancy of Laurent (also Jewish) particularly memorable, not to mention the music of Tchaikovsky and others, a real bonus for those of us who love it.

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Consensus: With good performances, beautiful music and some big laughs, Le Concert (The Concert) is a charming little film that is worth a look on DVD, and will be best appreciated by those who enjoy foreign cinema and classical music.  *** (Out of 4)

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