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
This was a very interesting movie and pleasant surprise, although sometimes that theme of the obsessive parent driving a kid crazy gets overworked. Nonetheless, it's a very well-made movie.
Geoffrey Rush is fascinating in the lead role as "David Helfgott." However, I would give equal kudos to Noah Taylor, who played Helfgott as a teenager, and to Armin Mueller-Stahl, who was Helfgott's father. They were just as impressive as Rush.
This is a supposedly true-life story of child prodigy piano player from Australia. As you can imagine, the music in here is excellent. Even better is the cinematography. Wow, this looks and sounds fantastic on DVD.
Although not always pleasant to watch, the story is riveting; hard to put down once you've started watching. The ending turned me off a bit with the overt plug for astrology, but is a happy one for all parties and at least leaves the viewer feeling satisfied.
In all, a very intense, beautifully-photographed biography.
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