6.8/10
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95 user 78 critic

Copying Beethoven (2006)

Trailer
2:13 | Trailer
A fictionalized account of the last year of Beethoven's life.

Director:

Agnieszka Holland
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Diane Kruger ... Anna Holtz
Ralph Riach Ralph Riach ... Wenzel Schlemmer
Matyelok Gibbs Matyelok Gibbs ... Old Woman
Ed Harris ... Ludwig van Beethoven
Bill Stewart ... Rudy
Angus Barnett ... Krenski
Viktoria Dihen Viktoria Dihen ... Magda
Phyllida Law ... Mother Canisius
Matthew Goode ... Martin Bauer
Gábor Bohus Gábor Bohus ... Schuppanzigh
Joe Anderson ... Karl van Beethoven
David Kennedy ... Neighbor
Nicholas Jones ... Archduke Rudolph
László Áron ... Judge
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Márta Hainfart Márta Hainfart ... Soloist (Soprano)
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Storyline

Vienna, 1824. In the days before the first performance of the Ninth Symphony, Beethoven needs help with copying out the charts, so a promising student of composition, Anna Holtz, 23, is sent to assist him. She not only aids the transcription of the notes, she provides guidance from the orchestra pit as Beethoven conducts the work's debut. During the next two years, the final ones of Beethoven's life, Anna provides assistance to the deaf, temperamental, ailing man. In return, he tutors her in composition and explains to her the ideas and principles of Romanticism. He tries to speak for God. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He was the greatest composer of his time. One last performance would define his genius. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Myriad Pictures

Country:

USA | Germany | Hungary

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 March 2007 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

L'élève de Beethoven See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$70,460, 12 November 2006

Gross USA:

$384,029

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,191,746
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview with The Guardian on August 11, 2007, Ed Harris stated that his biggest disappointment has been "The distribution of Copying Beethoven in the US." He also claimed the most important lesson life has taught him is "Don't let MGM distribute a film you care about." See more »

Goofs

The reference to the Appassionata piano sonata in the same scene is similarly anachronistic. See more »

Quotes

Ludwig van Beethoven: Loneliness is my religion.
See more »

Soundtracks

String Quarted No. 14 in C sharp minor Op. 131
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by The Takács Quartet
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Limited, part of Universal Music Group International
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I really, really, really wanted to like this
12 April 2007 | by wisewebwomanSee all my reviews

And parts of it I loved. The casting of Ed Harris in the role of Beethoven was a stroke of genius in itself and like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ed inhabits every role he's in, extraordinary actors both, without mannerisms or methodisms. He just is. It is a serious misfortune that the script fell far short of his talent.

Diane Kruger for the most part is luminous and believable, I don't know if the picture was filmed sequentially, but in the beginning she appears to be struggling to find her feet, to roll herself into the part, and after a few wobbles, she eventually does.

The interpretation of the Ninth is sublime on many levels, the main one being the absolute sensuousness of Anna Holtz (played by Diane) guiding the maestro through the conducting of the Ninth at its debut. Right up there with memorable movie moments.

The main difficulties I had were with the depiction of Beethoven's hearing (he was totally deaf when he wrote the sublime Ninth) and with the anachronistic dialogue which had me "ouching" far too much. Using terms like "mooning", Beethoven himself no less christening his own Moonlight Sonata - spare us, American accents slopping around, a single woman completely chaperonless running freely around Vienna and on and of course the passionate kissing scenes with her kinda-fiancé, I think not.

As to the "Wash Me" scene, I got it (I think). He was composing in synch to her washing motions. More could have been made of it.

I understand why the director, Agnieszka Holland, would develop the story to highlight and Mozartize Beethoven, but I would have to say the experiment was a failure.

Evocative lighting but a sad little script which seriously under estimated this viewer's intelligence and I believe I'm not alone. 7 out of 10 for the bits that worked.

For a lovely little movie depicting the just about demented from deafness Beethoven composing his Ninth, see the delightful "Beethoven Lives Upstairs."


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