June 21, 2010

Amadeus - 1984

Director: Milos Forman
Writer: Peter Shaffer
Starring: Tom Hulce, F. Murray Abraham

"I heard the music of true forgiveness filling the theater, conferring on all who sat there, perfect absolution. God was singing through this little man to all the world, unstoppable, making my defeat more bitter with every passing bar." Adapted from a ballet by Rimsky-Korsakov, which was in turn based on a slightly fictional play by Pushkin, this film depicts the rivalry between Antonio Salieri (Abraham) and the titular famed composer (Hulce).

This film won eight of its eleven Oscar nominations, including actor (for Abraham), directing, adapted screenplay, and picture. That said, I didn't enjoy it. It's far too long (an agonizing two hours and forty minutes) and turns a revered historical figure into a childish imitation of a man with a laugh that made me want to break the screen every time it assaulted my ears. If the real Mozart had been at all like this (there's no historical evidence to show he was), I wouldn't blame Salieri for indirectly killing him (which he didn't). The only things this movie has going for it are no different from any other period piece: set design and costumes. That's just not enough to spend three hours on for me.


  1. Oh, you've seen to have soiled your petticoat! *giggles*.

  2. Ed (a notthebees writer) tops his best-film list with Amadeus, but I don't have the patience to sit through a 2.5 hour period piece about classical music yet. I'll trust your opinion and push it down the priority list.