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Immortal Beloved
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Immortal Beloved More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

It's not fair!

Author: Shahram Mirkhani from Iran
30 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have heard classical music from when I was only 6 and the first I began with was Beethoven's 5th.

His music always did to me what is said in this movie (made me feel like the composer) and it's not enough if I say I am a Beethoven fan, better to say I admire, adore and pray him...

His works are (in parallel with J.S Bach but in another way) make me feel mad and there are quiet few music that do so to me.

With the above description and with the effort I've made to study his life and works, I believe this movie is a disaster.

With the huge amount of raw material and stories in his life - which Roman Rolland has written that thick book - it's the strangest thing to use his worst, hard-to-believe and neglectable-to-magnify part of his life.

It surely is a crime if we see Beethoven in this way.

The movie may be a good one if it was not based on him and it was a fictional story for that I may give 6 stars but because of the crime they've made I had to omit the later 3 stars!

Please compare with Milos Forman's Amadeus, is it comparable? actually that one was neither completely satisfying but much better than this. Why?

-Gary Oldman is a great actor but not suitable for this role, even as hard as he tries...

-All about the 9th symphony was this? it is considered as 'The greatest symphonic composition for all the time' by almost %100 of the experts. It's the best choice for the EU anthem. It's mystical. It's beyond the imagination and it's written when he was completely deaf! It's - as he has quoted - his greatest piece of work. It's not just an 'Excuse me' letter for his love. Please notify.

-Hostorical references are most of the time incorrect or incomplete. he has hearing problems from his middle 30's but totally deaf in his last ten years. He used to put his head on the piano much later than it is shown. The famous statue which we all have seen for once is made from his face just right after his death so why he is so old and ugly in the ending? and so on....

However, I do not think it's fair to do this with one of the greatest -if not the greatest - composers in history.

Don't you think so?

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

An Ode to Stupidity

Author: edwin ahearn from Brooklyn NY
29 January 2002

Handsome, expensive, largely well-acted, and utterly stupid; chaotic history, a grotesque and impossible "solution" to the well-worn enigma of the "Immortal Beloved." The composer is shown performing the Emperor Concerto (which he never did, having by then acknowledged his deafness) at least seven years before its composition, and composing the F Major Quartet (finished, October 1826) on his deathbed (March, 1827) -- I mention these as merely symptomatic of the general fecklessness.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A historical mess

Author: Kreme ( from Earth (Middle)
17 October 1998

Filled with inaccurate information, not least of which Beethoven's deafness was first, not a secret to anyone, and second, did not occur nearly as early as the film indicates. Certainly not by the time of the third symphony.

The music is very good. The film is confusing, unbelievable, and in many cases, just plain silly.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This film is perfect- the genius of his music combined with the complexity of his nature....

Author: Dee Ross from United States
19 February 2012

For me - Beethoven stands alone in his genre - especially for his time. Too many historians worry about minute details in a famous person's life - and discredit stories that take a more artistic approach to revealing something about that person.

No one knows all there is to know about a man from the 18th and 19th centuries - especially about his inner soul and what drives him to brilliance and raging behavior. The idea that there could have been someone unknown is enticing, and the concept of a film telling about Beethoven through the eyes of others is not a new one, but a format that allows more flexibility. I personally am glad they took this approach. Character development was therefore much more interesting.

Oldman's performance was brilliant - and as is often the case with Oldman - you come to feel you are really watching Beethoven. The other personalities also were developed well - and his music was shown in the context of his times - sometimes harsh (his father's beatings) - sometimes tumultuous (the Napoleonic Wars) - sometimes full of love ( the women in his life who did adore him), - and sometimes driven by personal disappointment and anger (the onset of deafness and possibly an unrequited love.....) Beethoven took music to the next level - adding emotion to the beauty and structure already employed by others.....

Some are shocked when I say that he was like the Led Zeppelin of the 19th Century - evoking new responses from listeners then, and still one of the few classical composers that you can play for anyone today and they will say "WOW!". Even those who really aren't fans of this kind of music. That is why they chose the 9th Symphony to celebrate the new millennium in 2000 GLOBALLY. Beethoven is universal and timeless. The movie is a wonderful way of sharing a moment with the maestro.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Tale of solitude

Author: Armand from Romania
25 December 2011

Extraordinary cast. Impressive story. And a great Oldman. A precise ballet behind cages and traps. Delicate tale about love as more than feelings or ordinary fight. Portrait of a genius from sketch to final signature. And drops of music like fundamental character. A movie without definition. A trip fed by gentle touches and shadow of abyss. Build with intelligent science of details, it seems be a good novel. But, step by step, it is more. A cruel love story's faces, description of solitude and vain hope, exercise of cruelty and selfish, slices of pain and force of fly. And a gallery of women's portraits. As pictures of a snail. As games of existence's pieces. The film is wonderful for the gift to be a kind of parable. Beethoven may be everyone. Johanna is every person for who the other is only a geometrical figure.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: potato2
25 August 2009

The year is 1827, and famed composer Ludwig van Beethoven has just died. He leaves his estate to someone only known as his "Immortal Beloved," so his secretary goes about finding out who she may be among his many lovers.

This movie is absolutely beautiful. Beethoven's music, of course, is the soundtrack and also the main plot point, as the writer/director speculates on the events in the maestro's life that inspired each piece. The movie goes back and forth in time to each of the important people in Beethoven's life and we see his music evolve from much tragedy, some euphoria, and most of all, his passion for life. There is even a persuasive scene accounting for his deafness.

With lavish costumes and picturesque Czech locations, it's lovely to look at but even more impressive is Gary Oldman's portrayal of Beethoven. Though playing a conceited, temperamental, and often angry man, Oldman still wins our sympathy and he is at his charismatic best. If you love Beethoven's music and/or period films, you'll enjoy this exciting biopic. Highly recommended.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great historical fiction (not a biopic!)

Author: rooprect from New York City
21 March 2009

This is the most creatively written historical fiction I've seen since Amadeus. Writer/director Bernard Rose did a fantastic job of piecing together scraps of history and filling in the blanks with an outrageously clever theory. Make no mistake; this is NOT a biopic. So don't think you can cram for tomorrow's Beethoven exam by watching this movie... your teacher will flunk you right out of the conservatory.

But if you approach this film as a sort of "conspiracy theory", and if you have a reasonable--but not too precise--familiarity with the facts of Beethoven's life, you will be very entertained, shocked and intrigued at the story.

Real quick historical synopsis: In papers found posthumously, Beethoven did indeed mention an "immortal beloved", much to the surprise of the world which thought him to be a solitary soul. The identity of this person has vexed historians for centuries, and speculation has been the cause of many a knock-down, drag-out fight amongst them (those historians can be pret-ty feisty). Here we have a possible explanation which pulls together several interesting episodes from Beethoven's life and weaves them into a believable plot. The historians can duke it out whilst we can enjoy the show.

Gary Oldman, as always, delivers a fantastic performance which elevates this film to classic status. Sure, there are flaws in this film, but nothing that cannot be overlooked in light of the acting and of course the music. My only gripe is that the film focuses very heavily on plot (and rightly so, I guess), but in so doing, it sacrifices the poetry of the situation. We rarely get a good, quiet, reflective moment where we can look into the tortured soul of the composer. Instead we get plenty of fiery episodes and situational drama, which is good but can leave us exhausted after a while.

Contrast this with the film Amadeus which breaks up the action with carefully crafted monologues and time to breathe & reflect. "Immortal Beloved" can seem like a fast paced action flick compared to that--but again I suppose the complex plot demands it. This is really a minor criticism. Although Amadeus needn't worry about losing its place in my list of best movies ever, Immortal Beloved is certainly worthy of playing in the same league.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Masterpiece of film and music!

Author: Gunn from Minnesota
17 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My first question after seeing this film was, where were the Oscar nominations? It deserved consideration for cinematography, directing, editing, set design, makeup, sound effects, writing, acting and more. Where was the Acamemy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences? Did they, like "Gettysburg", not see this film? It is a stunningly visual and audio masterpiece. The cast was brilliant, the scenery and set designs were magnificent, the directing well-paced and oh, that music! I have the blu-ray DVD and it wows me, every time I watch it. Was this film badly promoted? I don't remember an onslaught of publicity about it. It's similar to "Shawshank Redemption" as far as promotion goes. More people saw that movie after its theatrical runs, myself included. Most of us were rooting for "Pulp Fiction" over "Forest Gump" for Best Picture, but we hadn't seen "Shawshank" and obviously the Academy members hadn't either. It ranks in the Top 3 Best Films here at IMDb and so should "Immortal Beloved" be in the top rankings.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Lots of high points

Author: newday98074 from United States
21 July 2008

I wrestled with the rating because there is much to dislike about Immortal Beloved. However there is also much to like, among which are Beethoven's music, the plot twist which I felt worked well, and set design. The highs are very high. Oldham may not have nailed the great composer but he is a reasonable representation and the director's method of presenting his affliction is poignant.

To the negative the film is a bit clunky, continuity seems just a bit off, and some scenes could have been omitted or edited to speed things up. Beloved is not a character study as everyone is pretty much a caricature. It is a mystery and as such works pretty well even though the basic plot might have been written to the lives of less formidable personages without changing the real story. Beethoven's involvement provided additional depth and interest but no more sense of tragedy, and ham handed direction/editing watered down the impact even then.

That said, I'm glad I saw it and would recommend to anyone who doesn't mind considerable artistic license being taken with the life of Ludwig Van.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The music and the madness, brilliantly mixed.

Author: Hap Trout (HapRay) from Grants Pass, OR
15 May 2001

You don't have to be a classical music lover to really appreciate this film, but if you are, then this is like a fine dessert after a sumptuous dinner. Gary Oldman is completely believable as the moody and misunderstood composer, Beethovan.

This film deals with the one "true" love of his life, although you are not quite sure who she is. Using flashbacks and a narrator, the movie takes you along deftly, in the attempt to determine just who it was that Beethoven left his worldly goods to, ignoring family as he did so.

Whether the supposition at the film's end at finding the rightful heir is correct, no one knows to this day, but it could have happened this way.

Certainly the man's music is well represented, and clearly adds luster to an already brilliant story presentation. I found myself hinging on every word at various intervals of the film.

Part fact...part fiction, it is assuredly well worth your time. The acting is first rate, especially Gary Oldman in the lead role.

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