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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)
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)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

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 length of David Helfgott's cigarette when playing "Flight of the Bumblebee" at Moby's. See more »

Quotes

Peter: No-one will love you like me, no-one like me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Himself: hand double for Geoffrey Rush See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror X (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Appassionata Sonata, No. 23 In F Minor, Opus 57
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Ricky Edwards
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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 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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