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Branson Family Trip

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Reviewed on 2008-05-14
Received[4]  out of 4 stars
GenreDocumentary / Music
A documentary about a New England senior citizen chorus that has delighted audiences worldwide for more than two decades with their versions of classic rock and punk songs.

Singing and fellowship becomes therapeutic for these old-timers from Northampton, Mass. Up-close and personal interviews allow the audience to really get to know the individual members of the group and their excitable taskmaster, choir director Bob Cilman.

These retirees, with an average age of 80, show lots of spirit and energy during rehearsals and live performances. Their facial expressions are funny and priceless. They maintain a sense of humor and a zest for life even when facing health problems. They enunciate the lyrics so clearly that they give these songs a whole new meaning.

The list of songs includes tongue-twister “Yes We Can Can,” poignant tear-jerker “Forever Young,” “I Wanna Be Sedated,” The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” James Brown’s “I Feel Good,” Sonic Youth’s “Schizophrenia” and Coldplay’s “Fix You.”

There are even MTV-style music videos of “Staying Alive,” “Road to Nowhere” and “Golden Years.”

The movie is emotional and life-affirming. It would be my choice as the early front-runner for Oscar consideration, but it violates Academy Award rules since this unscripted non-fiction film was first shown on television in Great Britain.

Bring tissues, for there are many moments that tug at your heart.

A pleasurable experience featuring complex individuals and their fascinating stories that needs to be shared with an audience of fellow moviegoers.

Review By:
Keith Cohen, The Movie Guy

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