Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.

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(screenplay), (story)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 44 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Justin Braine ...
Tony
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Sylvia
...
Sam
Alex Rafalowicz ...
Gordon Poole ...
Eisteddfod Presenter
...
...
Ben Rosen
Danielle Cox ...
Suzie - Child
Rebecca Gooden ...
Margaret
Marta Kaczmarek ...
Rachel
John Cousins ...
Jim Minogue
...
Paul Linkson ...
State Champion Announcer
Randall Berger ...
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Storyline

As a child piano prodigy, David Helfgott's musical ambitions generate friction with his overbearing father, Peter. When Helfgott travels to London on a musical scholarship, his career as a pianist blossoms. However, the pressures of his newfound fame, coupled with the echoes of his tumultuous childhood, conspire to bring Helfgott's latent schizophrenia boiling to the surface, and he spends years in and out of various mental institutions. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A father whose life was his family. A son whose music was his life. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for nudity/sensuality and intense thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Claroscuro  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$162,179 (USA) (22 November 1996)

Gross:

$35,811,509 (USA) (30 May 1997)
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Technical Specs

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

The character shows all signs of schizophrenia; not bipolar disorder (formerly known as "manic-depressive disorder"), as is claimed in the film. The real David Helfgott likewise displays many symptoms of schizophrenia and none of bipolar disorder. See more »

Quotes

[Gillian has come to visit Sylvia. When they arrive home, the house is in a mess and loud music is playing]
Gillian: Is that the water running?
[Sylvia runs to the bathroom to find the shower running and the basin overflowing]
Sylvia: David? Where in God's heaven is he?
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Crazy Credits

Himself: hand double for Geoffrey Rush See more »

Connections

References Amadeus (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Sospiro
Composed by Franz Liszt
Performed by David Helfgott
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User Reviews

 
A little slight on the writing, but the acting and presentation is brilliant
8 April 2004 | by (Milwaukee, WI) – See all my reviews

When I originally saw this film in the mid-90's, I was absolutely devastated throughout the first forty-five minutes. So much so, I was pretty much uncontrollably weeping, much to the chagrin of the friend I went with. Time has softened the film a lot for me, but it still remains a powerful, tender and somewhat inspirational film about a piano prodigy who has led a pretty tragic life. Geoffrey Rush is unbelievable as the piano prodigy David Helfgott, and although the film is kind of sewn up a little quickly with the Vanessa Redgrave subplot (what about Helfgott made her so in love with him in a short period of time as to want to marry him?) it is a very well done film that I highly recommend to just about anyone, but especially musicians and music lovers.

--Shelly


22 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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