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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Bravo, Maestro!

The themes are familiar, the characters are interesting but not complex, the script is uncomplicated, the humour comfortable – the story itself is straightforward, but the sum of these largely unremarkable parts is a truly uplifting piece of cinema. It is a great pleasure to discover that a film like The Concert can still exist in a cinematic landscape over-shadowed by violence, sexual objectification, product placement and the commercial imperative. Mélanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds, Now You Seen Me) is probably the best known face in a largely eastern European cast, but it is Aleksey Guskov who steals the show as the Maestro with an endearing performance. Thank goodness (and thank Rumania director Radu Mihaileanu) for cinema with a good heart and a positive message, and characters motivated by kindness and artistic vision. The finale is a heart-warming emotional crescendo. It is genuinely satisfying to see a happy outcome, and well worth the modest investment of time to experience entertainment that is life-affirming, which, sadly, cannot be said about the majority of cinema these days.

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