French farce doesn't come more sentimentally skewed than co-writer/director Radu Mihaileanu's musically bound European dramedy. Former Russian symphony conductor Andrei (Aleksei Guskov) works 30-years hence as a houseman in Moscow's famous Bolshio theater where he listens to rehearsals from the balcony seats. While cleaning the theater director's office, Andrei intercepts a fax from the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris asking if Bolshio symphony can fill a schedule vacancy. The stage is set for Andrei to re-team his ragtag gypsy musician pals from the old days to pose as the Bolshio Symphony Orchestra at the Châtelet. Much spastic movement, and not much rehearsing, from the misfit group of musicians is a but a ruse misdirecting from Andrei's hoped-for reunion with the violin virtuoso Anne-Marie Jacquet (Melanie Laurent), who doesn't know that Aleksei is her father. With the promise of playing lead violin on Tchaikovsky's "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra," Anne-Marie accepts the performance challenge that will bring the story to its nearly poetic climax of emotion. "The Concert" is a workmanlike foreign film that doesn't quite come together.
Rated PG-13. 119 mins. (C+) (Two Stars - out of five/no halves)