Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Amadeus - 1984


A Milos Forman Film

(Theatrical Version) Rated PG
(Director's Cut) Rated R
My Rating: 3 stars

F. Murray Abraham
Tom Hulce
Elizabeth Berridge
Simon Callow
Roy Dotrice
Christine Ebersole
Jeffrey Jones
Charles Kay
Kenneth McMillan

Amadeus Wolgang Mozart, genius musician such as the world has never seen before or after. But genius that he is, Mozart has many faults. Those two factors combined lead to his death and the everlasting guilt of Antonio Salieri.

People question if this film is accurate but from what I have read, I must say that I believe this portrait of Mozart is fairly correct. He was a foolhardy, spendthrift, arrogant man who was given a gift that the rest of us can only dream about. I loved how this movie showed Mozart composing and explained to a certain extent how his mind worked in music. Mozart understood the science of music when he was 4 years old. He was absolutely amazing.

The Director's Cut of Amadeus had twenty minutes of extra footage in it that jacked the rating way up to R. Some of it I think could have been left out completely. However, I was glad I was able to watch some of it because it actually gave me a bigger picture of what Mozart was like and the extent of Silieri's hate.

What I Liked:
1: The music
2: That crazy laugh that makes me smile whenever I hear it (though I can't vouch for that being accurate... this is the first I've heard of it)
3: Salieri's hate and methods of destroying Mozart were very realistic.
4: How well cast Mozart, Silieri and the King were. They totally merged into their characters and became one. It was amazing to watch the extra footage later and seeing them out of character! It was as if they were completely different people. ::applauds::
5: 99% of the movie was believably 18th century.
6: This film left me with a feeling like I would never watch a movie quite like it again. It is unique.

What I didn't Like:
1: Mozart is portrayed as a very vulgar man. I am fairly sure he was but they seemed to go overboard a couple times. Thus...
2: Crude language (this is in the Director's Cut) occurs several times.
3: Mozart's Wife, Constanze, is shot with frontal nudity. This definitely could have been completely cut... and it is in the Theatrical Version of the movie.
4: One shot of Mozart and Constanze without their wigs is very, very 80's. That drove me crazy. Lol! But the rest of the movie was so good that I was able to forgive them. :-)
5: Elizabeth Berridge played Constanze Mozart. She was a good actor and I was impressed with her talent. But I must admit that I found in 50% of her scenes, she wasn't Constanze, she was only playing Constanze. Big difference. I couldn't forget that she was Elizabeth Berridge.

This movie is one of those very powerful, moving stories that I will never forget. For music lovers everywhere, this is excellence.

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