Copying Beethoven Movie Review

Does Agnieszka Holland hate Beethoven? That's the only explanation I can offer for this horrible, horrible attempt at making the maestro's final year of life into a biopic. Where to start? Oh, let's look to the obvious: the casting.

Ed Harris plays Beethoven, bringing none of the soul he imbued into Jackson Pollock, instead playing the composer as an uncontrollable creep who runs around with an ear-horn and yelling at people because he's deaf, annoying his neighbors, drinking heavily, and generally making an ass out of himself. Under heavy makeup (namely a clown nose and a long wig), Harris is nearly unrecognizable. Into his world comes Anna Holtz (Diane Kruger), a copyist who helps him complete his famous Ninth Symphony. As is the norm for movies with difficult main characters, he alternately adores and abuses her, such that the film consists largely of her leaving then coming back then leaving again.

Say what you will about Beethoven being a jerk, but Copying Beethoven is just cruel and malicious. Seriously: I'm not a historian but I stil doubt Beethoven would have made fart sounds as he sang aloud the composition of aspiring composer Anna Holtz (who appears to be entirely fictional, by the way). Copying Beethoven also plays pretty loose with history in general, giving us a Beethoven who was still able to hear to some extent up until he keeled over.

As bad as the script is, Harris is worse, brashly shouting his lines when he's not mooning the camera. (Again, I'm not joking.) It's a testament to how bad a movie when Diane Kruger, hardly cinema's most gifted actress, is the best thing about a movie.

Holland, now light-years away from her 1990 Europa Europa pinnacle, is completely off her rocker here. The film is disjointed and random, unable to decide if it's about Beethoven of Anna, or maybe neither. The film's centerpiece is a performance of the Ninth Symphony, with Holtz shadow-conducting for Beethoven, who can't keep time. It goes on for nearly 10 full minutes. I'm not sure I've ever seen a mainstream, narrative movie with such a long stretch of nothing happening, action-wise. And yet it's easily the best part of the film.

The studio must have known: Copying Beethoven had a token release and was a massive flop at the box office, earning a few hundred thousand dollars against its $11 million budget. Now on DVD, you can hear Holand and Harris's commentary on the film, plus get deleted scenes and a making-of featurette. But I'd suggest you avoid it altogether... especially if you're a classical music fan.

Beethoven pulls a finger.

Cast & Crew

Producer : , Stephen J. Rivele, , Christopher Wilkinson


Comments

Copying Beethoven Rating

" Terrible "

Rating: PG-13, 2006

Editors Recommendations

MS MR Admit They're 'Natural Performers' As They Enjoy 2014's Festival Season

Some bands are worth getting excited about and, with the festival season well under way...

MS MR Admit They're 'Natural Performers' As They Enjoy 2014's Festival Season

Miley Cyrus Forced To Cancel More 'Bangerz' Tour Dates As She Remains Hospitalized

Miley Cyrus is still receiving hospital treatment for "severe allergic reaction...

Miley Cyrus Forced To Cancel More 'Bangerz' Tour Dates As She Remains Hospitalized

Peaches Geldof Will Be Laid To Rest In Same Church As Late Mother

Peaches Geldof, who suddenly died at the beginning of this month (April 7th)...

Peaches Geldof Will Be Laid To Rest In Same Church As Late Mother

Gwen Stefani To Step In For Christina Aguilera On "The Voice"

We never would have pegged Gwen Stefani as the reality talent panelist type...

Gwen Stefani To Step In For Christina Aguilera On

Bryan Singer Announces Alibi, But It Won't Help "X-Men" Marketing

As X-Men director Bryan Singer is gearing up for his defense case, which he will have...

Bryan Singer Announces Alibi, But It Won't Help

Prince To Release New Album With New Warner Bros. Records Partnership

Prince and Warner Bros, Records seem to have put their differences aside...

Prince To Release New Album With New Warner Bros. Records Partnership

Lindsay Lohan's Ex List Was Actually A Step In Her Recovery

Lindsay Lohan really did write down her now infamous list of lovers, which has been...

Lindsay Lohan's Ex List Was Actually A Step In Her Recovery

'Mrs. Doubtfire' Cast Reluctant For Sequel: A Cash Cow For Robin Williams?

The news that a Mrs. Doubtfire sequel is definitely in the works 21 years after the 1993...

'Mrs. Doubtfire' Cast Reluctant For Sequel: A Cash Cow For Robin Williams?

Music Fans Crown Ozzy Osbourne And Lady Gaga "Hardest Artists To Understand"

Music fans have named Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna in their top ten hardest...

Music Fans Crown Ozzy Osbourne And Lady Gaga


More recommendations