A bunch of teen/pre-teen performers.
Marina: Basically, what I’ve seen…like, not on movies, on movies love is always like, yeeeee! In real life, if you look at it, most of the time it ends with tears…most of the time.
Documentary following some of the contestants in the Junior Eurovision singing contest as they prepare for the big event.
Well this one was surprisingly entertaining. If you can get past feeling like a creep for watching a bunch of 15 and under kids for an hour and a half, it’s quite enjoyable.
I’ll admit, I’d never heard of the Eurovision Song Contest, but apparently it’s a really big deal. All the contestants write and perform original songs, win the contest in their own country, then go head to head with other countries at one big competition. This movie follows 4 of the 17 acts as they travel to Rotterdam, rehearse, and finally perform.
I might not remember all of this correctly, but the 4 acts we follow are: 1) Trust – a quartet from Belgium that is probably the most musically talented group there, but, as one judge mentioned, are a little too old to get the cute-kid votes that some of the younger contestants will get…2) Marian (?) from Georgia (not the U.S. state) – her family had to abandon their home due to military conflicts in the area, but she has remained upbeat and positive through it all. I found myself rooting for her the most…3) Giorgio from Cyprus – he’s sort of quiet and unassuming off stage, but on stage he turns into quite the performer. There’s a little sadness in his eyes though, as he gets picked on at school sometimes, and you can tell he’s a little torn between his love of performing and his desire to not get hassled at school…4) Marina from Bulgaria – oh Marina…poor poor Marina. I couldn’t believe some of the things this 14 year old girl was saying. Her father left Marina’s mother for another woman, and obviously Marina hasn’t recovered from it. After delivering the quote above, she went on to say that it’s probably best to just not feel anything at all. That way you can avoid being hurt. She also hopes that she can do well in the contest because then maybe her father will be watching and come back because he’ll realize that there’s something worth returning to.
Yeah, that girl is wrestling with some heavy issues at a young age. Though, that seems to be pretty common with these kids. They aren’t all dealing with pain or tragedy, but they all seem to be growing up faster than usual as they’re thrust into the spotlight. Interestingly, though, it seems like none of the kids we follow closely are being pushed by anyone. It seems like they’re doing all of this by their own will. Except for maybe Marina who’s doing it, in some ways, to try to win her father’s love back. We don’t see psycho parents hovering over their kid’s shoulder, egging them on and chastising them for not doing well enough. They’re just up in the stands cheering.
Some of the songs the kids sing are a little grating and hard to listen to, but thankfully we aren’t subjected to the full songs in most cases. Still, they seemed more watchable than American Idol type performances to me.
Overall, this is a winner. It’s interesting to see the varied backgrounds of the kids at a contest like this and to know that not all of them are stuck up brats. Though, the girl from Ukraine looked obnoxious…
Don’t give up on love at age 14!
10 – 2 for some of the songs and performances being tedious to sit through = 8.0