Vienna (well Prague, as portrayed by Hollywood), 1827. A great composer is dead and his pupil and executor Schindler (Jeroen Krabbe) has to find Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved" of the title. Beethoven students have been trying to attach a definite name to that epithet without success for almost two centuries. Be that as it may, these events are really no more than a peg on which to hang a highly fanciful biopic of Beethoven.
With any actor other than Gary Oldman as the great maestro, this could have been farcical, but the consummate actor is convincing in spite of the script he has to work with. Likewise, Krabbe (who could have been a convincing Beethoven in his own right) overcomes rather than takes advantage of his material and Johanna ter Steege gives a workmanlike portrayal of Beethoven's sister-in-law. But for me, the most delightful potrtayal was relatively minor, Izabella Rosselini's Countess Erdody.
The film's two saving graces are Oldman's Beethoven and Sir Georg Solti's vibrant performance of the music with the London Symphony Orchestra. In particular, the rendition of the Emperor concerto right at the end (with Perahia, no less, as soloist) is as good as any performance I have ever heard on a motion picture soundtrack.
For all the liberties scriptwriter Bernard Rose takes with history, this is at root a vehicle for performing the work of one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time. In that sense the film is a success, in most other respects I'm not so sure.