In this off-beat French comedy-drama, a quirky band of classical musicians prepare to play at a nobleman's New Year's Eve gala. It was bass player Roberto (Pierre Lacan) who initially scored the gig. He then calls together his four long-time partners and a local clarinet player. They were hired to play chamber music and Viennese waltzes and to be directed by Roberto's former mentor, the famous conductor Svarowvski (Henri Garcin). The maestro will have his work cut out for him though, for the four players, while each fine musicians on their own, are of totally different temperaments and don't always work well together. Their flautist Therese (Marie-Christine Laurent) will be performing the night before she is scheduled to have her baby; cellist Lionel (Marc Citti) is a kleptomaniac; volatile and hypersensitive viola player Martial (Serge Renko) constantly raves about one issue or another; while 20-year-old violinist Diane (Clementine Benoit) suffers from an inferiority complex. Their clarinetist (Wilfred Benaiche) is devoted to his mother and brings with him a secret. Their aristocratic host (Philippe Clay) can't hear conversation, but still possesses an uncanny musical ear. Plucky Arab woman Fatiah (Sonia Mankai) attends him. Their ordeal begins on December 26 when the musicians gather at the nobleman's chateau to begin a long week of rehearsals. Les Cachetonneurs played at the 1998 Chicago Film Festival.
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