Boychoir (film)

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Boychoir, the choir (uk)
Boychoir movie poster.jpg
Teaser poster
Directed byFrançois Girard
Produced byCarol Baum
Judy Cairo
Jane Goldenring
Written byBen Ripley
StarringDustin Hoffman
Kathy Bates
Debra Winger
Music byBrian Byrne
CinematographyDavid Franco
Edited byGaétan Huot
Informant Films
Distributed byMongrel Media
Release date
  • September 5, 2014 (2014-09-05) (TIFF)
  • April 3, 2015 (2015-04-03)
Running time
103 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.8 million[2]

Boychoir is a 2014 American drama film directed by François Girard and written by Ben Ripley.[3] The film stars Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Debra Winger, Josh Lucas and the American Boychoir School.[4]


Stetson Tate is a 12-year-old student who is upset and gets in trouble. His single mother dies, after which his father brings him to an elite music academy, the fictional National Boychoir Academy as a boarding school, because Stet can sing well, and because the father has a new wife and two daughters, and keeps it from them that he has a son from another woman. Stet is admitted due to his talent but also the generous amount of money the father pays them.

Stet does not fit in very well, because the other pupils are privileged children, and because Stet is not disciplined enough for some of the staff. However, he works hard and becomes one of the best singers, which allows him to join tours.

Stet's family receives tickets, anonymously sent by the academy, for an important performance of the choir. The father does not want to go because of his secret, but the others want to go, so the father feels forced to go with them. After the concert he decides to transfer Stet to a school in Switzerland, but Stet, encouraged by staff member Carvelle, refuses to go, after which Carvelle threatens the father to expose his secret, and the father keeps Stet at the school.

Stet and Devon, another student, develop an antagonistic relationship. Devon exposes Stet's mother's criminal record to the other students, causing Stet to beat him in his room. The teachers councils considers expulsions for both of them, but delays the decision as those students are needed for a representation in New York. The New York representation goes without any incident, but soon after, Stet's voice starts to change as he grows older.

The father ultimately tells his family, and his wife accepts this. Stet starts living with them.



Hoffman stars in Boychoir as the choir master Carvelle, with Bates as the school's headmistress; the director is François Girard with a script by Ben Ripley. Originally, the cast was to include Alfred Molina, but he left the project.[3] In February 2014, Debra Winger, Eddie Izzard, Kevin McHale, Josh Lucas, and newcomers Garrett Wareing, Joe West, River Alexander, and Grant Venable joined the cast.[5] Wareing plays a young man who joins a boys' choir; Winger plays the boy's Odessa, Texas school principal; Izzard, replacing Alfred Molina, will play Drake, the choir master's right-hand at the school; Lucas plays the boy's estranged father. McHale portrayed a young music teacher who champions the boy and West, Alexander and Venable play other boys in the chorus.[5]


Principal photography began in February 2014 in New York City and in Stamford, New Haven, and Fairfield, Connecticut, some at Fairfield University.[3][7]


Boychoir premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on September 5, 2014 before receiving a limited release in the United States on April 3, 2015.

Hallmark Cards subsequently bought the distribution rights to air the film on its Hallmark Hall of Fame program. Boychoir was retitled Hear My Song and was planned to air on CBS on April 16, 2016.[8] However, on April 13, 2016, the premiere was cancelled at the last minute.[9]


Boychoir received mixed reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 52% rating based on 33 reviews for an average rating of 5.3/10. The consensus states: "Boychoir rests heavily -- and not always comfortably -- on the shoulders of Dustin Hoffman, whose typically excellent work isn't always quite enough to compensate for an overly predictable drama."[10] On Metacritic, the film holds a 51 out of 100 rating based on 10 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[11]



  1. ^ "BOYCHOIR (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  2. ^ "Boychoir (2014)". The Numbers. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Dustin Hoffman To Star In 'Boychoir'; Alfred Molina, Kathy Bates Round Out Cast". October 30, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  4. ^ Debruge, Peter. "Toronto Film Review: 'Boychoir'". Variety. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Kilday, Gregg (February 24, 2014). "Debra Winger and Eddie Izzard Join 'Boychoir'". Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  6. ^ "Playbill".
  7. ^ Dunne, Susan (February 13, 2014). "Dustin Hoffman To Film 'Boychoir' In Connecticut". Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  8. ^ Malone, Michael (March 3, 2016). "Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates Star in Hallmark Movie on CBS | Broadcasting & Cable". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  9. ^ "Why CBS Pulled the Plug on Hallmark Movie Starring Two Oscar Winners | TVWeek". Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  10. ^ "Boychoir". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  11. ^ "Boychoir". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 29, 2015.

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