Customer Review

56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Artistic fiction, but wonderful nevertheless...., 10 Sep 2003
This review is from: Immortal Beloved [VHS] [1995] (VHS Tape)
In my view, this isn't an out & out attempt at a strict biopic, and the casual viewer should be aware that a considerable amount of artistic license has been taken with the storyline.
However, get over the need for absolute historical accuracy; what this movie's really about is providing a hugely enjoyable feast for the senses. Gary Oldman is superb. Whoever decided to cast this seemingly unlikely choice for the lead role deserves an award for inspiration bordering on genius. The metamorphosis Oldman achieves is little short of miraculous, a grand statement to the high art of character acting. It's clear that our man has researched his role with an absolute determination to capture the great composer's persona. Thank you Mr Oldman, for what it's worth you've earned this punter's total respect and I'm sure there'll be literally millions more like me. No doubt some of the more academic types will scoff at my sentiments but I think they are missing the point. This is an extremely beautiful film, hugely enjoyable and will doubtless encourage many encountering Beethoven for the first-time to investigate further, itself a great thing.
The setting & atmosphere for the gradually-decaying early 19th century Hapsburg Empire are finely depicted & evocative, and in particular the use of light - both natural & artificial, shows exceptional skill. This is a work of craftmanship by a team who obviously knew what they were doing and worked hard at getting things right.
To sum up, this isn't history, but make no mistake, as a piece of entertainment it's a classic. . The final evocation of Beethoven's spirit set to the Ode to Joy captures this great genius's monumental legacy... hope, a gift for all mankind.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Jun 2011 21:45:42 BDT
Jane dale says:
I would agree with Ashley, this film made me take another look at Gary Oldman who is a great and often underestimated character actor. After watching this , for a contrast, watch him in Leon, and Fifth Element.

Enjoy.
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