The Concert – Movie Review

By Gideon

Le Concert (THE CONCERT) is a 2009 French comedy by Radu Mihăileanu starring Aleksei Guskov, Mélanie Laurent and Miou-Miou. It won the Best Original Score and Best Sound awards at César Awards 2010. It was also nominated for two Magritte Awards in the category of Best Co-Production and Best Editing for Ludo Troch in 2011, and Best Foreign Film at the 68th Golden Globe Awards.

Although categorizes as a comedy, the movie is much more than that. It tells the story of how much and how fast Russia has changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the poor transition that the country went through from one system to another. People that once were in power positions in the communist system, all of a sudden are not relevant anymore. The movie also shines light on a the dark human rights record of Russia under the rule of the communist party and the practice of transferring innocent people to Siberia for daring to oppose the government by openly criticizing it. 

The movie starts as a good comedy and evolves into an excellent drama. The movie highlights the difficulties of and the discrimination against the Russian Jewish people during the Communist area in the USSR through the life stories of  the main characters; the young  virtuoso Anne-Marie Jacquet, and the conductor Andrei Simoniovich Filipov.      

Le Concert  is the story of Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, who was fired thirty years ago, for hiring Jewish musicians. Now he works as a janitor and drinks too much. But when he intercepts an invitation for the Bolshoi to perform in Paris, Andrei masterminds a plan to gather his own Bolshoi to go in their place in order to make a triumphant return to the music scene. He gather together his former musicians to perform in Paris in the place of the current Bolshoi orchestra. He invites the Communist leader and former KGB Ivan Gavrilov to manage the orchestra. As a solo violin player to accompany his old Jewish or Gypsy musicians he wants Anne-Marie Jacquet, a young virtuoso. The movie climaxes  in a beautiful final scene, in front of a live audience, when Andrei, through music, is finally able to communicate with Anne-Marie and tell her who her parents were and what happened to them.

 

The movie is now available on Netflix. The Dialogues are in Russian and French, with English subtitles.

 

The actress, Mélanie Laurent, was born in Paris. She is Jewish, and has both Ashkenazi (from Poland) and Sephardic (from Tunisia) ancestry. Her grandfather survived deportation by the Nazis. She is a French actress, model, director, singer and writer. She became known to international audiences for her starring role as Shoshanna Dreyfus in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, for which she won Best Actress from the Online Film Critics Society and the Austin Film Critics Association. Laurent was born in Paris. 

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The movie trailer

The movie finale

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