With "The Concert" hitting theaters in three weeks via The Weinstein Company, they've certainly waited until the last possible moment to start promoting the film. Anyway, a trailer and poster for the film have landed and the latter has left us scratching our head. We're not sure why they've chosen the ugly blue border or why they've chose the hide one person who might be known to North American audiences, Melanie Laurent, in the arms/profile of the other lead actor (Alekei Guskov). On top of that, the still itself is just odd and really doesn't speak to the tone of the film at all.
Anyway, we caught "The Concert" last year at Cinemania in Montreal and it's a film that starts of well, but is marred by a truly ridiculous, borderline offensive second half. The story revolves around a once-celebrated conductor of the Bolshoi Orchestra who hatches an elaborate scheme to get his former group of players together for one last show in Paris. The first half of the film finds the conductor gathering his ramshackle group of players back together and getting them back in playing shape. The second half of the film, once they are in Paris, goes "Get Him To The Greek" as the conductor tries to get his players to the concert. So why aren't the Russians, gypsies and Jews that make up the orchestra making it to rehearsal? Because they are out getting drunk, playing for money on the subway and selling black market cell phones. We only wish we were joking.
But what do we know? The audience we saw it with loved it, with many in tears by the film's (obvious and melodramtic) close, and we wouldn't be surprised if the film becomes a minor, sleeper hit for the studio. The film hits on July 23rd. The full synopsis and trailer after the jump:
Andreï Filipov was a prodigy—the celebrated conductor of the Bolshoi Orchestra, the greatest orchestra in Russia. Today, aged 50, he still works at the Bolshoi, but as a cleaner.
During the communist era, he was fired at the height of his fame for refusing to get rid of all his Jewish players—Zionists and enemies of the People—including his best friend Sacha Grossman. Andreï sank into booze and depression.
The Director of the Bolshoi, an old apparatchik, has been promising forever to return Andreï’s orchestra to him “soon”, but he’s mocking him, humiliating him sadistically. For him, Andreï’s a has-been, and he’s doing him a big favor by keeping him on as a cleaner.
Then Andreï finds a fax inviting the orchestra to play at Pleyel, in Paris, in two weeks’ time, as a last minute replacement for the indisposed Los Angeles Philharmonic. Andreï conceives of a crazy notion: he’ll round up his old musician buddies, a motley bunch now scraping a living in Moscow as cab drivers, removal men, flea market traders, suppliers of porno film sound effects…
They’ll go to Paris as the Bolshoi. They’ll defy destiny and take their revenge! Will they make it?