6.8/10
11,828
130 user 82 critic

Music of the Heart (1999)

Story of a schoolteacher's struggle to teach violin to inner-city Harlem kids.

Director:

Wes Craven

Writer:

Pamela Gray
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Roberta
Cloris Leachman ... Assunta
Henry Dinhofer Henry Dinhofer ... Lexi at 5
Michael Angarano ... Nick at 7
Robert Ari Robert Ari ... Supervisor
Aidan Quinn ... Brian
Teddy Coluca ... Taxi Driver
Angela Bassett ... Janet
Josh Pais ... Dennis
Barbara Gonzalez Barbara Gonzalez ... Janet's Secretary
Jade Yorker ... DeSean at 11
Victoria Gómez Victoria Gómez ... Lucy at 10 (as Victoria Gomez)
Justin Pierre Edmund ... Bongo Kid
Justin 'DJ' Spaulding Justin 'DJ' Spaulding ... Naeem at 9 (as Justin Spaulding)
Zoe Sternbach-Taubman Zoe Sternbach-Taubman ... Guadalupe at 9
Edit

Storyline

The true story of a young teacher who fights against the board of education in her bid to teach underprivileged kids in a Harlem school the beauty of music through the violin. In her struggle she loses everything as the system comes down on her with all their might but her determination for the kids happiness helps her to battle back with wonderfully inspirational results. Written by Kryp <capthowdee@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She gave them a gift they could never imagine. They gave the system a fight it would never forget.

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Roberta was originally given to Madonna. See more »

Goofs

In the very opening sequence, Roberts picks up a picture with her right hand, and holds the picture in the middle of the edge. In the next cut, her fingers have move from the top corner to the middle. Then when she goes to tear it, she moves her right hand first, but in the next cut, her left hand is at the top of the photo. See more »

Quotes

Roberta Guaspari: [entering Dorothea's house after a stressful rehearsal for a huge concert] Oh, I can't believe I *ever* agreed to do this! You should hear the Bach double. Ha-ha-ha! It's a *complete* disaster!
Dorothea von Haeften: Good morning...
Roberta Guaspari: Good morning. Well, the good news is the tickets are selling like hotcakes. The bad news is, the kids sound like shit...
Dorothea von Haeften: There's more bad news. We've lost the Y.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Please support arts and music education. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 72nd Annual Academy Awards (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Perpetual Motion in A Major
Performed by Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra (as Young Musicians Foundation)
Arranged by Shinichi Suzuki (as Dr. Shinichi Suzuki)
Courtesy of Warner Chappell Music Inc.
By arrangement with Summy-Birchard, a division of Warner Bros. Publications
See more »

User Reviews

An adequate "feel-good" movie.
1 November 1999 | by hillariSee all my reviews

This film is based on the true story of Roberta Guaspari, a music teacher in New York. When the movie opens, she has recently moved herself and her two sons in with her mother, after her marriage fails. Roberta (Meryl Streep) takes her limited teaching experience and pitches a violin class to a skeptical principal (Angela Bassett). After proving how well she's taught her young sons the instrument, Roberta is given a chance. It is slow going at first, as Roberta has to deal with inattentive students, and disapproving parents and fellow teachers. One African-American parent snaps that her son has better things to do than learn "dead white men's music", even though her son lights up while he's taking his music lessons. The violin program grows so much in popularity that kids have to enter a lottery to get a chance to get into it. When the program is cut due to the insensitive school system, Roberta fights back. Film hits the message home that music education is important, but it keeps repeating it over and over. The audience got the point, already! Streep does portray a likeable underdog, though, and the love she has for the students is always apparent, even when she's snapping at them. The kids are adorable. Don't be fooled, however, by how the trailers build up Gloria Estefan's participation in the movie. She's okay, but her role is very small. Angela Bassett is effective, as usual.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 130 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fiddlefest See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,653,281, 31 October 1999

Gross USA:

$14,859,394

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,936,407
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed