From the washed-out images to the twee voice-over (courtesy of director Stephen Walker), this British television documentary about the titular Massachusetts-based senior-citizens chorus so slavishly embodies the creakiest clichés of British television documentaries that you begin to wonder if its not all a big put-onif Christopher Guest didnt direct the damn thing under a pseudonym. Fortunately, Walkers subjectsnearly all in their eighties and nineties, with a greatest-hits collection of medical ailments and a set list that runs the gamut from the Beatles to Sonic Youthmore than carry the day. Set over the six weeks leading up to the choruss latest concert, Young @ Heart adopts the will-they-pull-it-all-together-by-showtime formula of so many backstage docs, with the caveat that, for these performers, neither time nor Father Time is on their side. The films appeal is at once sentimental and perverse: Its not every day that you get to see a 92-year-old woman soloing on Should I Stay or Should I Go, or a deeply affecting rendition of Coldplays Fix You performed by an octogenarian with congestive heart failure. Not surprisingly, a feature remake is already in the works.
April 18-24, 2008