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Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.

Director:

Scott Hicks

Writers:

Jan Sardi (screenplay), Scott Hicks (story)
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Popularity
4,595 ( 126)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 45 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Geoffrey Rush ... David Helfgott - Adult
Justin Braine Justin Braine ... Tony
Sonia Todd ... Sylvia
Chris Haywood ... Sam
Alex Rafalowicz Alex Rafalowicz ... David Helfgott - Child
Gordon Poole Gordon Poole ... Eisteddfod Presenter
Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Peter
Nicholas Bell ... Ben Rosen
Danielle Cox Danielle Cox ... Suzie - Child
Rebecca Gooden Rebecca Gooden ... Margaret
Marta Kaczmarek ... Rachel
John Cousins John Cousins ... Jim Minogue
Noah Taylor ... David Helfgott - Adolescent
Paul Linkson Paul Linkson ... State Champion Announcer
Randall Berger ... Isaac Stern
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Storyline

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 Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A father whose life was his family. A son whose music was his life. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for nudity/sensuality and intense thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Yiddish

Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Claroscuro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$162,179, 24 November 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$35,811,509, 30 May 1997
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For his performance in this movie, Geoffrey Rush became the first actor to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, BAFTA Awards and Critics' Choice Awards, as well as Best Actor-Drama at the Golden Globe Awards. See more »

Goofs

The mezzuzah, a Jewish religious scroll attached to a home's door posts, on Ben Rosen's home is angled the wrong way; it should be angled toward the entrance of the home. See more »

Quotes

Cecil Parkes: The page! For God's sake, the notes!
Peter Helfgott: I'm sorry sir, I keep forgetting the notes.
Cecil Parkes: Will it be asking too much to learn them first?
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Crazy Credits

Himself: hand double for Geoffrey Rush See more »

Connections

Referenced in Zeitgeist (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude In C Sharp Minor, Opus 3, No. 2
Composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Performed by David Helfgott
© 1994 RAP Production, Denmark
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Intense, Well-Acted & Photographed Movie
7 August 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This was a very interesting movie and pleasant surprise, although sometimes that theme of the obsessive parent driving a kid crazy gets overworked. Nonetheless, it's a very well-made movie.

Geoffrey Rush is fascinating in the lead role as "David Helfgott." However, I would give equal kudos to Noah Taylor, who played Helfgott as a teenager, and to Armin Mueller-Stahl, who was Helfgott's father. They were just as impressive as Rush.

This is a supposedly true-life story of child prodigy piano player from Australia. As you can imagine, the music in here is excellent. Even better is the cinematography. Wow, this looks and sounds fantastic on DVD.

Although not always pleasant to watch, the story is riveting; hard to put down once you've started watching. The ending turned me off a bit with the overt plug for astrology, but is a happy one for all parties and at least leaves the viewer feeling satisfied.

In all, a very intense, beautifully-photographed biography.


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