Original title:Tenor
Director:Claude Zidi Jr
Running time:100 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Antoine, a young Parisian suburbanite, studies accounting without much conviction, dividing his time between the rap battles he practices with talent and his job as a sushi delivery boy. During a race at the Garnier Opera, his path crosses that of Mrs. Loyseau, a singing teacher in the venerable institution, who detects in Antoine a raw talent to be developed. Despite his lack of operatic culture, Antoine is fascinated by this form of expression and is convinced to follow Mrs. Loyseau's teaching. Antoine has no choice but to lie to his family, his friends and the whole city for whom opera is a bourgeois thing, far from their world.

Mulder's Review

"I dreamed of taking to the sea
Pouring out torrents of tears
I wanted to find the meaning of my life
Before I had to give up my soul" MB14 - My place

Finding our place in society is what drives us every day to make choices that are more or less difficult while keeping in mind that it is our actions that define us. We act to make our parents proud and we hold the bar despite the many uncertainties of life. The first solo film directed by Claude Zidi Jr. stands out as an instant classic of French cinema and yet after Les Deguns (2018) we didn't expect to discover a film that benefits from a true director's eye on our current society and the fact that certain choices and risky bets can turn out to be winning. Many films (mostly American) have approached with a real look the musical creation. 

When discovering Tenor, we will think of two films that are particularly striking: 8 Mile (2002) by Curtis Hanson in which the rapper Eminem proved to be an excellent actor and the film was inspired by his past and his desire to raise his head permanently and to leave a trace of his passage on earth, but also by the fact that he is a man who is not afraid of the world. but also to Good Will Hunting in which a rebellious gifted played by Matt Damon met a psychologist (played by Robin Williams) who helped him to move forward in his life and opened his eyes on his gift and how to use it wisely. Tenor is also the revelation of a true artist Mohamed Belkhir (MB14) who was revealed by a television show (The voice, fifth season) which had already marked our memories by his qualities of musical giftedness but he also shows that he is an excellent actor able to hold our attention and to be convincing permanently.

The scenario of the film focuses on a young Parisian student in accounting, Antoine (MB14) who seems to be more attracted to music, especially rap and its clash battles. He also works as a sushi delivery boy and during a delivery to the Opéra Garnier he meets a singing teacher, Mrs. Loyseau (Michèle Laroque, in one of her best roles) who sees in him a real opera singer. Antoine, who lives in the suburbs with his older brother, has to lie to her in order to take singing lessons and abandon his studies, which he follows without any real conviction. By hanging out with a young singer from a wealthy background in his singing class, but also by being close to his best friend Samia (Maéva El Aroussi, the revelation of this film), Antoine will have to lie to those close to him to find his own artistic path. 

It's all about chemistry and inspiration, whether it's in the field of music or cinema. To make a film successful often comes down to finding the right angle to tell a story that can fascinate the public and send back a realistic image of our current society with its imperfections, its inequalities, its social cleavages. Certainly, Tenor will remind us of other films but it easily finds its place in our hearts as spectators by delivering accurate interpretations and especially by giving the artist MB14 a vector to make an infinite talent burst in the eyes of all. By mixing different musical tendencies (rap, classical music), the film sounds right all the time and shows us that it is necessary to know how to work hard and make beautiful meetings to succeed in one's professional life and to blossom in one's personal life. The strong bond between Antoine and his singing teacher is at the heart of the film, as is that of Will Hunting and his psychologist. The film tackles with real intelligence the divide between Paris and the suburbs, between different social backgrounds and above all shows that you have to know how to seize your chance and fight for it. Director Claude Zidi Jr. delivers a skillfully constructed comedy-drama that holds our attention without any downtime. 

Tenor succeeds in filming the Opera Garnier from its best angle and really makes us want to rediscover this unmissable place in Paris whose exterior beauty is one of the undeniable charms of this Capital. Avoiding the clichés of American films filming Paris as a postcard without a soul, Claude Zidi Jr.'s camera finds the perfect angle to film this place in which many important operas have been performed. To succeed in making classical singing lessons exciting was a difficult challenge and yet we are totally captured by the care taken to remain credible at all times.

Tenor shows once again the great richness of French cinema capable of standing up to the American studios by proposing effective films that make us want to go to the cinema and applaud at the end of a film so much the pleasure taken to discover it makes us want to see it a second time.  We will also appreciate the final song Ma place which fits perfectly with this film and shows us that we will have to count on MB14 as an actor to follow. His talent radiates the film and gives it all its strength and fragility... This is definitely one of our favorites of this year and we can only encourage you to discover it from Wednesday, May 4th in theaters. 

Directed by Claude Zidi Jr.
Produced by Raphaël Benoliel, Cyril Hanouna, Stéphane Hasbanian
Written by Cyrille Droux, Raphaël Benoliel, Claude Zidi Jr.
Starring Michèle Laroque, MB14, Guillaume Duhesme, Maéva El Aroussi, Samir Decazza, Marie Oppert, Louis de Lavignère, Stéphane Debac, Roberto Alagna
Music by Laurent Perez del Mar
Cinematography : Laurent Dailland
Edited by Benjamin Favreul
Production companies : Firstep, Darka Movies
Distributed by StudioCanal
Release date : May 4, 2022 (France)
Running time : 100 minutes

Seen on May 3, 2022 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 14 seat A19

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