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
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 »
[Gillian has come to visit Sylvia. When they arrive home, the house is in a mess and loud music is playing]
Is that the water running?
[Sylvia runs to the bathroom to find the shower running and the basin overflowing]
David? Where in God's heaven is he?
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A little slight on the writing, but the acting and presentation is brilliant
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.
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