Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mr. Holland's Opus

Released: 1995
Reviewed: 11.19.09
Star rating: 4 out of 5

Richard Dreyfuss (Glenn Holland), Glenne Headly (Iris Holland), Jay Thomas (Bill), Olympia Dukakis (Principal Jacobs), William H. Macy (Wolters), Alicia Witt (Gertrude), Terrence Howard (Louis), Jean Kelly (Rowena), Anthony Natale (Cole).

Glenn Holland is passionate about music and dreams of writing an opus but, that isn't paying the bills. So he takes a job as a high school music teacher figuring it will tide him over and allow him time to write his opus. A lifetime later however, he finds it is his teaching that has made him who he is, not the opus.

This film kicked off a bit slow jumping right into plot and character development but it wasn't long before I was hooked on the emotional component. As Mr. Holland's life unfolded the comedic highs punctuated with emotionally charged moments was a joy to watch. The film did a wonderful job of capturing not only the joy of music, but the work involved and sometimes the painful realization by some that creating music will be more than difficult for them. The ending was great and not one that is expected.

Acting by Dreyfuss was excellent. Having never been a big fan I was truly impressed with him in this role. Headly, Thomas, and Dukakis all did a wonderful job supporting. Macy was a bit hard to believe in the beginning but came around for the second half of the film.

Camera work, sets and background were all nicely done. Sound was very well done with some wonderful selections of music, both classical and more modern. Dialogue was also quite enjoyable.

Overall I was quite impressed with this drama. The plot, acting, and music were all very good and the story moved along well throughout the film. Anyone with a passion for music or the drama genre will probably find this a very enjoyable film. Put it toward the top of your Must See list. Some mild foul language but this should be fine for preens and above.

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