A mute woman along with her young daughter, and her prized piano, are sent to 1850s New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, and she's soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.
Based on the true story of Australian pianist David Helfgott, this delightful movie charts the traumatic early years through adulthood. Telling the story in flashback we see David as a child prodigy and as he grows up while his patriarchal father abuses him and his siblings with the memory of his childhood in Europe and the loss of his family in the concentration camps. David finally breaks away from his father and goes away to study overseas, he later suffers a breakdown and returns to Australia and a life in an institution. Many years later he is released and through several twists of fate (in reality even more unlikely than film portrays) he starts playing a piano in a bar before finally returning to the concert hall. Written by
Who Knew That Playing a Piano Could Be So Much Work?
"Shine" is a pure joy to behold. Produced in Australia, it tells the true story of piano prodigy David Helfgott. Helfgott suffered a major nervous breakdown on the threshold of an imminently great career. The story shows him through a psychologically trying childhood, to his teenage years when he perfected his skills, to a stay in a mental asylum, and his subsequent return to stardom. Noah Taylor and Geoffrey Rush (in a well-deserved Oscar-winning turn) played Helfgott during his teenage and adult years. Armin Mueller-Stahl is also excellent as the abusive father (in an Oscar-nominated performance). However, the film stalls on several occasions. This is bad considering that the film is only 1 hour and 45 minutes long. Lynn Redgrave's role is terrible, she is totally wrong for this film. "Shine" is a prime example of a near miss. The film is very good in almost all aspects, but these problems keep "Shine" from being the masterpiece it should have been. 4 out of 5 stars.
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