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Vitus
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Reviews & Ratings for
Vitus More at IMDbPro »

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55 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Huzzah for Vitus!

8/10
Author: Spuzzlightyear from Vancouver
8 November 2006

Sure this is a movie that everyone loves to hate. A foreign movie about a boy who is gifted on the piano. His parents notice this and immediately set about to make sure the boy is properly educated and makes sure he plays the piano. The boy just wants, you know, to be a boy. No one seems to understand except his grandfather. So you know, they have a SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP. Sure, this is a predictable and syrupy feel-good fluff, but damned if I didn't enjoy it. I LOVED this movie. This is the type of movie that you could say the sum is equal to it's parts, as all the cast and the script combine together to make this as enjoyable as possible. A special nod goes out to the 3 kids playing Vitus, who are all quite great, and to Bruno Ganz who is quite marvelous here too. Again, this wont make any awards list, or be even nominated for anything (it's just a little TOO predictable), but this sure would make audiences cheer.

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57 out of 70 people found the following review useful:

very well played

9/10
Author: muri73 from Switzerland
15 February 2006

The Story about a boy-genius who wants nothing, than being a normal boy, is a well played and charmful story. The Boy is played by a real-life-boy-genius who plays the piano amazingly. Grandpa is the same actor as "Hitler" in "Der Untergang" and shows herewith his incredible talent for various roles.

The Movie has no gunfights, carcrashes or nudescenes. Its a simple, heartwarming story, which takes you away from the fast and hectic daily life into a almost 2-hour-story, which is nothing but good and charming.

A silent movie, but nevertheless a real good one.

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49 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Fabulous movie I would see again

10/10
Author: mayer01 (mayer01@pacbell.net) from San Francisco, California USA
14 January 2007

I saw this movie at the Palm Springs Film Festival and absolutely loved it. I didn't want it to end. It just got better and better. I almost didn't go to see it because there were so many other choices. I thought it was just going to be about a child prodigy, but it was about so much more. There were many stories besides the many one, and every one of them was unique and kept my interest. Screenwriters could learn a lot by analyzing the elements that composed this film and then writing more good ones like this. The acting was superb. I thought that the young piano player stole the show. He was perfectly cast. However, the real life piano player who played the character was also excellent in his role. It was so nice to have a complex plot without being in the middle of a story with family members screaming at each other. They may have had different plans for the piano player's life, but at heart they all loved each other.

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35 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

A Fable Played by Real People

10/10
Author: merlin-105
6 May 2007

We just saw Vitus at the San Francisco International Film Festival, with an audience that packed in the theatre and gave the director a round of applause at the end. In the context of Fredi Murer's career, this film address themes that he explored in earlier works such as Alpine Fire and Full Moon, but here with a lighter, less moralistic tone. Murer clearly has a great rapport with children and brings out a credible performance from the nonprofessional actor (but real-life musical virtuoso) Teo Gheorghiu -- especially considering that so much of the film rests on this young pianist's shoulders. Bruno Ganz, whom English-speaking audiences rarely get to hear performing in his own Zurich dialect, unsentimentally embodies the traditional Swiss values that are disappearing under a wave of American-style materialism and yuppie anxiety.

Parents, take your young geniuses to see this film, and take its humane message of love, self-recognition and forgiveness to heart.

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29 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Fredy Murer's latest is excellent.

10/10
Author: wag67 from New York, NY
30 April 2007

What a great movie to come out of Switzerland, though for those who have followed Fredy Murer's career this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. His humanity truly transcends geographical and language boundaries and what he has to tell us about growing up, and raising children, in a funny, heartwarming but never condescending story that sounds true every step of the way, is simply extraordinary.

The casting is outstanding, too, from the two young real-life pianists to another subtly powerful performance by Bruno Ganz. Sony Classics will release it this summer (I just saw it at the Tribeca Film Festival) - go and see it if you missed it. Hard to believe that they apparently had a hard time raising money for this, but now it seems to have all been worth it. It was also the country's official Acadamy Award entry for best foreign language film (though it didn't win).

Got a chance to talk to the director after the screening, such a nice man, too...

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25 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

And so when do we get it here?

10/10
Author: seamallowance from United States
22 January 2007

I just saw this on a plane (and overseas flight) and I watched it twice, as it was so good. The acting was superb, the script very credible. This is perfect art-house cinema or Netflix material. So when do we get it here? Even just on video? (Is this where I whine that pleasant little gems like this go unnoticed by dumb Americans?) Besides, how many Swiss films will you ever see in your entire life? BTW, the piano playing fooled me entirely. I kept looking and trying to figure out how it was done (hence, the dumb American comment). It will be very easy for anyone who is smarter than the average bear to identify with this story.

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19 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Childhood fantasy

9/10
Author: Tom (satnitcboy) from NY NY
27 April 2007

Saw a screening tonight at Tribeca Film Festival - good news for American Audiences: Sony Classics will be distributing Vitus here beginning June 07.

Director Muller says Vitus grew out of his own childhood fantasy: to be a genius. Other fantasies also play out in this completely guileless, charming story.

(Teo Gheorghiu is, in fact, a brilliant pianist. Now 14, he played in person before the screening and proved that, in fact, all the musicianship on display is real. The 5-yr old Vitus also plays.) Happier, and funnier, than Little Man Tate. IMO, what is thoroughly unpredictable about this film is the absence of nasty, bitter adults and children you'd have likely found in an American version ... except for the "boss's son" character, who is a cliché, but not one you have to look at for long.

Vitus demonstrates that fantasy can be a personal, human pastime, not just a cartoon or computer-generated effect. Terrific little film.

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20 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Piano Playing

10/10
Author: taniguchisgirl from United States
23 May 2007

Vitus portrays a kid who struggles to choose between his parents dreams and his own. Anyone with over ambitious parents can relate! The acting is incredible. Seeing the grandfather in the role was excellent- I first saw him as Hitler in the German film Untergang (Downfall) about Hitler's last days. He does a marvelous job in both films. Anyone interested in foreign film should see it- it's stirred up a bit of chaos for directly portraying Hitler and evoking sympathy for him.

In Vitus, the young boy who plays Vitus at age twelve is an actual Piano prodigy. There was no need to fake piano playing- he really is playing in the film. The person who elected to do this was genius, they added and incredible amount of credibility to the entire feature. The movie is excellent and comes to the US soon. A US remake is already being discussed- a testament to the excellence of the film.

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Giving Back the Gift: The World of the Prodigy

10/10
Author: gradyharp from United States
29 November 2007

VITUS is a film from Switzerland that has garnered many accolades and nearly won an Oscar. And yes, it is that good! Written by Fredi M. Murer, Peter Luisi, and Lukas B. Suter and directed by Murer, VITUS explores the life of a child genius, a lad who from the age of five is obviously gifted in that he can play Bach et al after only a few months lessons and is able to read books and understand concepts that make his stance in a regular kindergarten class untenable. But the film is less about the gifts of a child prodigy than it is a story of how a genius child longs for a normal childhood. It is in the telling of the story that the audience is privileged to discover the joys and trials in a child's view of being extraordinary.

Vitus - played at age 6 by Fabrizio Borsani and at age 12 by Teo Gheorghiu - is referred to as a little Mozart by his parents Helen (Julika Jenkins) and Leo (Urs Jucker), and by the family friends who are amazed at Vitus' gift as a pianist. But as is often the case with gifted children, they are overprotected, not allowed to engage in the normal activities of being a kid. Vitus finds consolation in his grandfather (a brilliant Bruno Ganz) whose creative energy includes Vitus in his longing to fly and to build complex machines. While Vitus continues his love for the piano he also takes risks with his beloved grandfather. Vitus' intelligence serves him well in analyzing the complexities of his father's job and his grandfather's role in that position, and it is his genius that leads the family in a direction no one thought possible. And of course with every story of an extraordinary young lad adapting to a puzzling world, there is also a love interest: Isabel at age 12 (Kristina Lykowa) is his fun-loving babysitter and at age 19 (Tamara Scarpellini) is the queen of his inexperienced heart and fill a void in Vitus' life that otherwise would be empty. Fitting all of these subplots together is made magical by Vitus' constant playing of classical music - a feat the young actor is capable of performing on his own! The cast of this film is not only gifted but is also endearing. Bruno Ganz is a brilliant actor and he is matched by both of the young actors who play Vitus. The story is tender but avoids bathos. It simply is an uplifting, inspiring, entertaining film. A Must See! Grady Harp

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17 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Amazing Journey into Genius

10/10
Author: drmargaret from United States
14 September 2007

I loved that this child was not only musically gifted, which I expected from the descriptors of the movie. He was mathematically a genius as well. But, the most amazing part was his understanding of psychology -- the ability to solve severe financial problems for his grandfather, the ability to manipulate everyone in his world into thinking he was normal for several years. The movie is one of the best I have seen in, literally, decades. And, then, there is the piano performance of a real musical savant. So, this is the story -- but the ability of the script and the director to move me into childhood, to remember what some of the issues of autonomy are, to see a family who loves and cares for their child, but also faces issues of financial pressures and job loss. This is a movie we can all relate to on many levels. What a great show!! I hope it becomes available on DVD -- I'll buy about 10 to give away. Dr. Margaret

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