To say that Romanian filmmaker Radu Mihaileanu’s comedy/drama The Concert gets better as it goes along is not quite accurate; it’s as if the movie simmers unevenly for an hour and a half, and suddenly bursts into glorious flame.
In it, a former Bolshoi Orchestra conductor (Alexei Guskov) pulls off an elaborate deception so he can achieve his dream of leading the orchestra once more.
For much of its running time, The Concert feels overlong, its tone bumpy, its minor characters too often buffoonish and silly. And yet, in its last 15 minutes, it’s transcendent, thanks to a beautifully edited sequence featuring Tchaikovsky’s soaring Concerto for Violin and Orchestra and a lovely performance by Melanie Laurent (who seems, in this film, to radiate light). You find that you were rooting for the film and its characters all along, and you leave the theater thrilled and moved by the power of music. And, like me, you just might tear up a bit.
Stick with this movie; it’s well worth the wait.
Cast: Alexei Guskov, Dmitry Nazarov, Melanie Laurent, François Berleand, Miou Miou.
Writer/director: Radu Mihaileanu.
Producer: Alain Attal.
A Weinstein Co. release. Running time: 107 minutes. Brief strong language, some sexual content. In French with English subtitles. In Miami-Dade: South Beach; in Broward: Sunrise; in Palm Beach: Shadowood.