Glenn Holland is a musician and composer who takes a teaching job to pay the rent while, in his 'spare time', he can strive to achieve his true goal - compose one memorable piece of music to leave his mark on the world. As Holland discovers 'Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans' and as the years unfold the joy of sharing his contagious passion for music with his students becomes his new definition of success. Written by
It's a MOVIE! I'm reading comments so vastly polarized to one extreme or another so as not to be believed.
Okay, I am a musician. I've been one on a professional level for over ten years, both as a writer and performer. And I LOVED this movie (apologies to all those pretentious 'serious' musicians out there). I enjoyed my theatrical viewing and I have watched my DVD several times.
Is MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS musically accurate? No, of course not, no more so than STAR TREK paying attention to factual science and the laws of physics. But for the most part, nobody other than most of us ego-driven, high horse bound musician types will ever know it.
Designed to have a broad appeal outside the aforementioned musically inclined crowd? Yes, but then so is nearly every movie to come out of Hollywood. It has to be palatable to a certain degree, and I believe that the much maligned "Play the sunset" scene is far more entertaining than having Mr. Holland give us lengthy exposition on the proper articulation and technique that goes into playing a given instrument.
And if I hear one more poster scream about Mr. Holland's 'opus' only being ten minutes long (the "It took him a lifetime to write THIS?" mantra) I think I'll scream. Did it ever occur to anybody that what we heard was only a small part of a much larger work? Most classical and semi-classical pieces occur in (get ready) MOVEMENTS! It's entirely possible that we only heard the prologue to a much larger piece. Think outside the box, people.
As for the quality of the piece itself, I found it to be acceptable, if not the most dynamic piece of work I've ever heard. But seeing as how we had been hearing snippets of this piece THROUGHOUT THE MOVIE, I can't say that I was so overwhelmingly let down as some of our more 'educated and refined' musician types that have posted here.
Sure, there were some flaws. Ms. Headly is not the greatest actress in the world, and beside Dreyfuss she's downright embarrassing. William Macy's character is so cliched that it warrants no further discussion. The whole subplot with Rowena and her romantic interest in Mr. Holland ran about ten minutes too long. And the ending bit where the arts funding gets cut seemed a little too political.
But overall, a great film, surely one of Dreyfuss' best, and one of my favorite films.
I'm a musician. And I liked it. So sue me....
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