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I agree completely with the previous reviewer - this is the definite Beethoven film, above all because of Ewald Balser's almost more than convincing impersonation, but everything is excellent in this film - the acting, let's not forget the irresistibly beautiful ladies, the choice and composition of the musical illustrations and accompaniments - most impressing of these is probably the cathedral scene, when the camera sweeps along all the audience like in a search of the chorus but finally ends up there all around Beethoven himself - and the acting of the young Oscar Werner as the hopeless nephew Karl adds a significant contrasting spice to the biopic, which maintains the balance between story, supporting actors, music and the central theme, which is the personal victory of Beethoven over his deafness - the end is like an apotheosis but a very practical one. This film repairs completely the damages caused by Abel Gance's terrible mammoth bathos ruined by a monstrosity of exaggerated sentimentality in his very ambitious but well-meaning effort of 1936, in which the actor ruined everything by being completely wrong; but the Gary Oldman film of 1994 isn't bad either, in spite of the fact that the story there is all wrong. Also here the story is rather a construction, but the two countesses did really exist and certainly loved him, and he couldn't treat them any better than he did; so although incorrect it's true in its meaning. Highest possible praise for this very moving and true Beethoven film that misses nothing of what was important about him. Ed Harris in all his virtuosity acting in the 2006 film, the latest, is but a shadow to Ewald Balser.
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