In the mid-19th century, a mute woman is sent to New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.
As a child piano prodigy, David Helfgott's musical ambitions generate friction with his overbearing father, Peter. When Helfgott travels to London on a musical scholarship, his career as a pianist blossoms. However, the pressures of his newfound fame, coupled with the echoes of his tumultuous childhood, conspire to bring Helfgott's latent schizophrenia boiling to the surface, and he spends years in and out of various mental institutions.Written by
Who Knew That Playing a Piano Could Be So Much Work?
"Shine" is a pure joy to behold. Produced in Australia, it tells the true story of piano prodigy David Helfgott. Helfgott suffered a major nervous breakdown on the threshold of an imminently great career. The story shows him through a psychologically trying childhood, to his teenage years when he perfected his skills, to a stay in a mental asylum, and his subsequent return to stardom. Noah Taylor and Geoffrey Rush (in a well-deserved Oscar-winning turn) played Helfgott during his teenage and adult years. Armin Mueller-Stahl is also excellent as the abusive father (in an Oscar-nominated performance). However, the film stalls on several occasions. This is bad considering that the film is only 1 hour and 45 minutes long. Lynn Redgrave's role is terrible, she is totally wrong for this film. "Shine" is a prime example of a near miss. The film is very good in almost all aspects, but these problems keep "Shine" from being the masterpiece it should have been. 4 out of 5 stars.
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