Vienna, 1902: Alma Schindler meets Gustav Mahler. She beautiful, young, plays, and composes: music is her life. She becomes Mahler's lover, then he marries her, asking that she give up composing. She has two children, works as his assistant, does his books, saves him from debt, and feels stifled. In 1910, after the death of a child, she retreats to a spa where she falls in love with Walter Gropius. Will she go with him or stay with Mahler? She conducts an affair with the tempestuous Oskar Kokoschka and is stifled in another way. Then, she marries Gropius, who proves imperious. She leaves him for Franz Werfel: he finds her compositions and insists the public hear them. Written by
I went to this movie and I didn't really hear anything about it before and didn't know what to expect from it. I didn't even know what this film was about. All of a sudden I hear a familiar trumpet and horn melody in the opening credits and I was filled with joy. For these were the notes as composed by the late great Gustav Mahler. I quickly realized that this was going to be a film about one of my favorite composers and I was totally drawn into the film. Of course, though, this film is not about Mahler, but his wife Anna. The parts that included Gustav and Anna were wonderful. There was some honest passion going on that very few films I have seen lately have exhibited. The overall communication between the two near the end of Mahler's life was very gentle, bittersweet and very believable. Gorgeous work from Wynter and Pryce together. However the film gets considerably worst with each relationship Anna has after Mahler. Everything seems forced and rushed and consequential. It almost seems that Beresford was out to make a film about Mahler and then right in the middle of production he finds out the Mahler died much earlier than an erroneous script had told him. So he decides to make a film about a confused female 'player' who only went out with successful men before having some success of her own. Oh well. Still though I had a good time with this film. I just wish this was more of a film about Gustav Mahler than it actually was.
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