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Copying Beethoven [2006] [DVD]

34 customer reviews

Price: £4.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Ed Harris, Bill Stewart, Matyelok Gibbs, Gabor Bohus, Diane Kruger
  • Directors: Agnieszka Holland
  • Format: Anamorphic, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Verve Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Feb. 2010
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000XEMDQ2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,394 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Drama starring Ed Harris. It is 1824 and Beethoven (Harris) is racing to finish his new symphony. However, it has been years since his last success and he is plagued by deafness, loneliness and personal trauma. A copyist is urgently needed to help the composer finish in time for the scheduled first performance - otherwise the orchestra will have no music to play. Enter Anna Holtz (Diane Kruger), a young conservatory student and aspiring composer. The mercurial Beethoven is skeptical that a woman might become involved in his masterpiece but slowly comes to trust in Anna's assistance and in the end becomes quite fond of her.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By B. P. Jones on 15 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD
At the moment, we're having to watch the DVD on our laptop: still no PAL version, though it's continually promised... like yesterday!

Ed Harris is absolutely magnificent as LvB. The balance between the inner man (who continually "talks to God") and the everyday man (who can't cope with anything in the mundane, day-to-day world) is as near perfect as anyone is going to get. I've been a devotee of LvB for most of my 62 years; watching this film is like seeing a video of an old friend: the interpretation really IS that good.

I know it's factually inaccurate... but that doesn't seem to matter much. The FEEL of the thing is right. This is how the man was: genius, chamber pots, and all. And the part of the film that deals with the 9th's first performance (with a splendid rendering of the finale!) was enough to reduce me (literally) to tears. If you love LvB's music, watch this film: I promise you you won't be disappointed.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Tilly Valle on 23 April 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was intrigued by the title of this film. Copying Beethoven? Copying him how? I'm sure many have tried to copy his work, imitate his genius but as he himself said, "There can and will be thousands of princes, but there is only one Beethoven!" However it soon becomes clear in the film that 'copying' refers to a copyist, a scribe who copies out his musical scores for use of the maembers of the orchestra. Well every composer of the time used those. The copyist here though is a young woman, Anna who wishes to become a composer herself. Very unusual, and knowing Beethoven's character it is extremely unlikely he would have consented to work with a female copyist! Not only that, she presumes to 'correct' the great composer's work!!
You really have to suspend belief in order to make it through the whole of this fantasy LOOSELY based on the last year of Beethoven's life when he composed and premiered the glorious 9th Symphony. There are some scenes which are frankly cringe-making, such as the one wher he supposedly makes fun of a piece of music that Anna has written by pretending to break wind in time to it. Beethoven had a deep respect for women and would never have done such a thing. The other awful moment is when he asks Anna which of his Piano Sonatas is her favourite and when she hesitates announces, "Oh I know, the moonlight!" and bares his behind to her. Just terrible! For one thing Beethoven did not give Piano Sonata no 14 that title, it acquired that after his death, he himself called it 'Sonata in the manner of a Fantasia' and although he was certainly no saint and known to be rude and sometimes outrageously so, never would he have demeaned himself and insulted a female so.
So is there anything to redeem this film? Yes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rbmusicman/and/movie-fan' TOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 Dec. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Anybody that has read any of my music reviews will know that my passion is primarily 'pop' ....my point being you do not need to have a love of the man's music to appreciate this film, you'll find a stunning portrayal of 'Beethoven's' final years by 'Ed Harris along with great back up from 'Diane Kruger' as 'Anna'
'Anna' who aspires to write her own music jumps at the opportunity to assist the 'maestro' 'Beethoven' by copying his works for him.
His health is failing and he is also almost deaf, yet he continues his works.
This rude and arrogant man becomes fond of his assistant and slowly shows her the respect she hopes for.
Yet despite his problems he continued writing till the end and is obviously responsible for some of the greatest 'classical works' of all time.
I must admit other than my old music's teacher's best efforts many moons ago which did give me some awareness, i didn't really make much effort to follow the 'arts' ( music ) so i wasn't sure whether this was for me, i took the chance and i can tell you I would recommend a viewing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ziggy_fan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Nov. 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
If you are a keen fan of Beethoven, musically and as a historical figure, then you might find this movie grates on you because of the quite extensive use of artistic license in portraying both facts around the real copyist(s) involved in the final symphony as well as some historical context (for example Beethoven, in this film, refers to the Moonlight sonata, but in actual fact he never gave that sonata such a nickname', it was done when being published year later). There is also no evidence, I am told, of a copyist (male or female) with the degree of influence alluded to in the screenplay of this movie's version of events.

My overall personal impression is that I did enjoy watching it perhaps because, although I like Beethoven, I wouldn't say I'm so keen as to feel affronted by the deliberate inaccuracies.

So... If we were to ignore the artistic license and consider this film as a standalone story about a composer's final 3 years, how does it stand up to expectation of enjoyment of a period drama via blu-ray? Technically the sound and video is excellent. The acting from the two leads is convincing. The supporting cast is also enjoyable to watch, the costumes and sets are very good indeed (i don't know where it was filmed, i.e. whether in the actual original locations or not, but it looks convincing). Having said all that, and despite my enjoyment, I can't say that I would have been greatly worried if (knowing what I know that, having watched it) I had never seen the movie, but since it wasn't expensive when I bought it, I am not overly worried. I think my Mum or aunty would like it more than I did, so that's where it will go next :)

A final thought, when Amadeus was released all those years ago, there had never been a film like it I think.
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