The setting is Spring 1936 ; a
working-class district in the north of Paris. This
neighborhood probably had a name once but now everyone
simply calls it The Faubourg. At the top of the hill is a
view over Paris to one side and, to the other, the
burgeoning suburbs of the city. In the center of town there
is a small square, a few shops, lopsided buildings, cobbled
streets and the peeling façade of the neighborhood music
hall, the Chansonia.
In this blue-collar neighborhood, the triumphant election of
the Popular Front government is greeted with enthusiasm and
hopes for a brighter tomorrow, yet stirs up all kinds of
extremism. Among the new government's promises is a law
guaranteeing paid holidays for workers.
In early May, three residents of the Faubourg – Pigoil,
Milou, and Jacky – still sulk over the closing of the
Chansonia four months ago. PIGOIL (Gérard Jugnot), a
stagehand at the Chansonia for thirty years, could lost the
custody of his 12 year-old son JOJO (Maxence Perrin) if he
doesn’t find any work. MILOU (Clovis Cornillac), the
Chansonia’s hotheaded electrician and resident skirt-chaser
struggles with the shift in goverment regimes and often
serves as a spokesman for the "workers aristocracy." JACKY (Kad
Merad), former sandwich man at the Chansonia, dreams of
showing the world his talent for the stage. He refers to
himself as the Prince of Imitators.
Supported by the locals who live to the rhythm of MONSIEUR
TSF's (Pierre Richard) radio, the three friends decide to
take hold of their destiny by producing the "hit" musical
the Chansonia has always needed.
Along the way, they encounter several obstacles, including
the hostile antagonism of the neighborhood "godfather",
GALAPIAT (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu) and his group of thugs.
With the help of the town, and the arrival of a mysterious
and beautiful young actress named DUCE (Nora Arnezeder),
PIGOIL, MILOU, and JACKY bring the magic of the stage back
to the Chansonia.© Sony Pictures Classics. All
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