Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Amadeus (Milos Forman, 1984) B

One of the few major Oscar winners I've somehow avoided in my 6 or so years of movie watching and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Amadeus tells the story of Antonio Salieri, court composer to the Emperor of Austria, and his relationship to musical prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Salieri recognizes that he is second-rate compared to Mozart's genius and, driven by jealously, plots his downfall. The opening 10 minutes were absolutely brilliant- an exhilarating rush of dreamy editing, glorious Mozart music and F. Murray Abraham's soothing voice. Forman's opening sucked me in, and even if the rest couldn't quite live up to that beginning, it was still an interesting film. The juxtaposition between the mediocre, but immensely successful, Salieri and the genius, but unappreciated, Mozart was fascinating and an interesting commentary on today's music business. Overall, the film probably could have been tightened up and shortened in the middle, but Amadeus was still a good time. F. Murray Abraham gave an excellent performance and earned a well-deserved Oscar. Tom Hulce as Mozart, on the other hand, was nothing more than that annoying giggle. Many 80's actors probably could have given the same performance without much effort.

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