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4.3 out of 5 stars133
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 18 July 2014
VERY DISAPOINTING THIS FILM SO VERY DARK ALL THE WAY THROUGH AND LOTS OF MUMBLING AND I COULD NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS GOING ON HALF THE TIME. THE BEST FILM WAS DONE BY THE BBC SOME YEARS AGO AND THE LEAD WAS PLAYED BY PAUL RHYS AND WAS A TRULY WONDERFUL PRODUCTION WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUT OUT ON A DVD. THIS VERSION IS NO WHERE NEAR AS GOOD. Eileen.d
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on 16 December 2008
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.
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on 28 March 2010
I am reviewing the BluRay(US) disc not the movie... The movie is a masterpiece

The picture quality is great and the sound is magnificent...
It is region free.
Dolby TrueHD audio in English and French (yes, French HD audio too)
1080p Video that makes enjoying the film at the maximum.
English Projector Optimized subtitles (for those who use projectors)
English, English SHD, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Arabic Subtitles
Special Features: Director's commentary, "Beloved Beethoven" Documentary
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on 28 May 2016
As a fan of Beethoven and classical music, I was interested to see this film and it's depiction of parts of his life. I'm sure to create more drama, many aspects of the story is embellished or possibly in some cases factually incorrect, but as far as I know many of the most memorable parts of Beethoven's life that have been recorded are depicted here, with great respect and admiration to the composer. In particular the story focuses on the famous Immortal Beloved letter and investigates who the recipient may have been. Although it may only appeal to classical music fans in particular, it is a good film overall (if a little slow at times), with some truly moving moments and good performances all round by the cast. In particular, Gary Oldman seems to perfectly capture how we often perceive Beethoven's personality, with at times great passion, stubbornness and temper; but also moments of great sensitivity, insecurity and vulnerability.
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on 7 April 2001
Immortal Beloved is a passionate epic of Beethoven's troubled life. Gary Oldman is #1 in my top ten actors list as time and time again he produces breath-taking performances - why he hasn't got an oscar yet is beyond me. The story tells of how the general population of Viennia despised Beethoven, then came to love his work, how they came to make fun and abuse him, his many love affairs, his final masterpiece and eventually, his death. A moving, superb film, HIGHLY recommended.
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on 2 June 2012
Immortal Beloved is an interesting film focusing on events in the composer Ludwig Van Beethoven. Rather than a biopic the film begins with Beethoven's funeral and his friend and assistant trying to find who his 'Immortal Beloved' is in his last will and testament. In this way the film is very similar to the excellent 'Citizen Kane' which uses employs flashbacks to tell the story.

Gary Oldman plays Beethoven with a subtle German accent and you can sense the frustration and anger of his struggle with Deafness and communicating with the people around him who presume he is just arrogant and ignorant.

The music of course is fantastic and it complements the story, the atmosphere and mood of the film, especially when it is revealed who Beethoven's 'Immortal Beloved' was!

Although in my opinion 'Immortal Beloved' isn't as good as 'Amadeus' it is a very different film and I would still highly recommend the film to lovers of great music and moving drama.
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on 23 August 2012
A sublime film with Gary Oldman playing Beethoven with deep intensity as he of course is so well known from that famous portrait. This portrait is present in one particular scene of the film and you can immediately see how good Oldman really is. I never for a moment took the film as portraying a factual story but rather as a way to show the character of Beethoven and maybe also to show how his great genius was engendered (encroaching deafness, love lost). The lighting is superb, the use of Beethoven's great music is astonishing. I watched the film with one of my sisters and she like me were deeply emotionally affected throughout. I think it really shows what it took to be such a genius and it simply demonstrates in the most sublime way his music, oh his music, or as is said at the end of the film, how could anyone who could write music like that be all bad.
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on 20 April 2009
This is a great and entertaing film, well worth seeing, but, don't take it as a factual account of Beethovens' life. There are too many anomolies, nevertheless it is entertaining.
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on 20 February 2012
Gary Oldman gives a truly superb and inspired performance as the troubled composer, LvBeethoven. The film focuses on Beethovens love life, with focus on his character and gradual loss of hearing. There are good and bad bits to the film. Some scenes are very well done, eg. the scene where Beethoven lays his head on the piano in order to hear the sound of the piano, and Beethoven's final and disastrous public performance, the premier of his magnificent Emperor concerto, a piece which features quite prominently in the film. The music is of course a highlight. I personally like the selection, which consists of his most famous works. However, the music could be seen by some to be clichéd, like the stormy section of the pastoral symphony building up as Beethoven begins to lose his temper.

To begin with I was impressed with the historical accuracy. Placement of music is good, the sonatas appear at vaguely the right times. Events considered genuine appear in the film eg. the story behind the premier of his 9th symphony, which is now fairly well known. Tears fill beethovens eyes when he hears nothing at the end, and he has to be turned around to accept the crowds ecstatic response. Beethoven's music was "epic", and I feel that the film should have had a more dramatic and epic quality. Too often there are missed opportunities to make things bigger.

The film is degraded for me by the naff conclusion that Johanna reiss was Beethoven's "immortal beloved". Unlike Schaffers Amadeus (1984) where the Mozart/ salieri plot is clearly just a story, here the writer and director Bernard Rose instead makes a dodgy truth claim. What would he know? No Beethoven expert agrees with him. Looking at the facts, it was more likely josephine brunsvik, whom he dedicated the moonlight to. I's my main problem with the film. It's incomprehensible, as this conclusion is not exactly needed to elevate the film, which is good enough already. Also, the presentation of ludwigs father Johann is overwhelmingly negative, when no solid evidence suggests he was in any way a harsh instructor. I guess this sort of myth making is needed to make a more interesting story line?

In short, a good film, but let down by the script. Other reviewers have mentioned the naff lines that appear every so often and they really do grate. Worth watching, but not really worthy of an excellent rating all round, which is why i only give 3.5 stars.
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on 5 November 2011
Gary Oldman gives an excellent performance as Beethoven in Immortal Beloved with an excellent supporting cast. I would thoroughly recommend this film for any lover of classical music.
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