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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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4,627 ( 351)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 44 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Justin Braine ...
Tony
...
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
...
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Storyline

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 randbanks@yahoo.com

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

Country:

Language:

|

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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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gillian Helfgott: wearing blue and rising in the audience at the lower left screen to applause near the end of the film. See more »

Goofs

Aluminium roller shutters on the Helfgott family home. See more »

Quotes

David: You can't lose 'em all.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Himself: hand double for Geoffrey Rush See more »

Connections

Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Memo to the Academy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

La Campanella
From Violin Cencerto in B minor by Niccolò Paganini
Transcribed for piano by Franz Liszt
Performed by David Helfgott
See more »

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User Reviews

What a difference a 2nd viewing makes
17 August 2001 | by (Korea) – See all my reviews

I don't now why but when I first viewed this a few years back I did not care for it, but after watching it again I was very impressed. Maybe because I have grown more of an appreciation for classical music in that timeframe. I really don't understand how I could have missed the outstanding portrayal of the nuturing/stultifying father-son relationship, or the moving way that David can only express himself via the piano (notice how he speaks in virtually only apothems). This is a very great film.


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