Posts Tagged ‘Amadeus – movie review’

Amadeus (the director’s cut)  –  movie review
Today’s movie review is for the music / biopic “Amadeus” (1984) about the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (full name: Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart).  Actually, the movie is about a contemporary composer: Antonio Salieri.  Before I go much further, I will state with full voice – I have little or no knowledge of classical music or composers and therefore practically no appreciation for either classical music or opera.  Additionally, and I say this with shame and not with braggadocio – I play no instruments and cannot read music.  I am clearly not in a position to critique the music in this film.  (I thought is was okay.)
In it’s day, this movie garnered a total of eight Oscars, including best Actor, Director and Film.  That means it should be pretty good.  But, is it?  No.  Not really.  I watched the director’s cut which has an added 20 minutes of movie, but in theory is supposed to more closely match the director’s concept of what the film might have been – if there were no constraints – like the audience’s need to use the restrooms.  But I digress…
The movie is a period piece about genius and envy.  As a period piece, the movie is outstanding. The costumes / clothes, hair and make-up are all outstanding.  That is, they make you feel as if you are in the mid-1700’s.  Or, at least what we, in this day, imagine them to have been.   But all of this is only a shell without a story to go with them and I’m afraid the story was too long and uninteresting to be entertaining.  It was at best, only mildly interesting.  I kept waiting for this highly decorated film to take wing, but, unfortunately, it was more of a fluttering and flapping  turkey that it was a soaring eagle.
For me, the whole of the movie was F. Murray Abraham’s performance as Antonio Salieri.  Abraham deservedly won best actor for this role.  He is excellent as both the elderly Salieri telling of his plotting against Mozart and as the young Salieri, expressing his hatred with the slight turn of a lip / sneer.  You can feel Salieri’s love for the music and his anger at both God (for His slight) and against Mozart for his ill manners.  As Salieri curses God: “why did you give me the ability to appreciate this music if you were not going to give me the ability to create it?”
The real question is: why did it take over three hours to ask this simple question (repeatedly)?  The answer, I’m afraid is because this isn’t a very good movie.
Final recommendation: not recommended for an “average” movie goer like me.  Maybe somebody with a lot more music background will appreciate it more, but I didn’t.  As much as I tried to see this in one sitting, I couldn’t do it.  I ended up watching it over two evenings of approximately 90 minutes each.  Neither half moved me.
On This Day In:
2015 We Are All Explorers
2014 Still Trying To Cope
2013 Dear Diary (A good chuckle!)
2012 Conveniently Sequential
2011 King’s Speech Number Four
Rational Probability

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