The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
A chronicle of John Lennon's first years, focused mainly in his adolescence and his relationship with his stern aunt Mimi, who raised him, and his absentee mother Julia, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life.
Kristin Scott Thomas,
Vienna, 1824. In the days before the first performance of the Ninth Symphony, Beethoven needs help with copying out the charts, so a promising student of composition, Anna Holtz, 23, is sent to assist him. She not only aids the transcription of the notes, she provides guidance from the orchestra pit as Beethoven conducts the work's debut. During the next two years, the final ones of Beethoven's life, Anna provides assistance to the deaf, temperamental, ailing man. In return, he tutors her in composition and explains to her the ideas and principles of Romanticism. He tries to speak for God. Written by
In an interview with The Guardian on August 11, 2007, Ed Harris stated that his biggest disappointment has been "The distribution of Copying Beethoven in the US." He also claimed the most important lesson life has taught him is "Don't let MGM distribute a film you care about." See more »
The reference to the Appassionata piano sonata in the same scene is similarly anachronistic. See more »
Beethoven's Ninth or the real HERstory of the early feminist role in nineteenth century musical composition.
Given our modern sensibilities with respect to the role of women in society and, lest we be labeled Calibans, it is no great effort to overlook the anachronism and give the nod to the female copyist at the start of this movie. Not five minutes later, though, we are asked to completely strain the boundaries of credulity and accept that the creativity of the second greatest composer ever to have lived (Mahler being the first) owed its triumph to a twenty-three-year-old inexperienced female "secretary".
It is at this point one realizes that the creation of the Ninth Symphony is a patina, a mere plot device, for the true substance of the movie which is Beethoven's suppressed twentieth century feminist ideology. Alas, if only the maestro himself had realized how truly ahead of his time he was! Is it really only twenty years ago we discovered Beethoven was black?
...and yet, if you love Beethoven, it is all about the music. Whatever the historical flaws in this movie, the anticipation engendered when the Ninth begins and the excitement bursting within as the choristers intone "Freude, schöener Götterfunken" of Schiller's Ode to Joy; any misgivings about the picture are completely over-shadowed by the music itself. Which says more about Beethoven's lasting genius than modern movie-making "talent" ever could.
19 of 28 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?