A band of out-of-work Moscow musicians travels to Paris posing as the celebrated Bolshoi Orchestra in this lavish, shamelessly entertaining comedy-drama from the director of Live and Become. With Mélanie Laurent.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2010
A band of out-of-work Moscow musicians travels to Paris posing as the celebrated Bolshoi Orchestra in this lavish, shamelessly popular comedy-drama from director Radu Mihaileanu (Live and Become). Andreï (Alexeï Guskov) conducted the Bolshoi until he fell out of political favour – and became the Bolshoi janitor. One night while cleaning he intercepts a fax from the Théâtre du Châtelet inviting the Bolshoi to fill a last-minute cancellation. Opportunity knocks: Andreï sets out to recruit an orchestra. ‘Be demanding and temperamental’, advises his newly designated manager: they require that a stellar young French violinist (Mélanie Laurent) be secured to perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major with them. The French buy it! Broad national character jokes abound, showing scant regard for the PC and jostling with clowning of a more poignant nature. Old dreams are rekindled, secrets uncovered and Tchaikovsky steals the show. — BG