Immortal Beloved Movie Review

My pick of the week goes to Immortal Beloved, a limited-release movie about the life and times of Ludwig von Beethoven. Gary Oldman plays the Maestro with finesse and style, filled with all the emotion and angst Oldman is becoming famous for.

In an effort to create another Amadeus, the film chooses to use Beethoven's will, wherein he leaves his estate to a nameless "immortal beloved," as the starting point for delving into Beethoven's past. Consequently, much of the film is interested in Beethoven's supposed relationships with the women around him. Here, the film somewhat takes leave of reality, playing fast and loose with the facts of Beethoven's life. In fact, the film's final claim of a certain woman as Beethoven's immortal beloved is considered absurd by most historians.

Of course, one expects a certain liberty with the truth in Hollywood, and the triumphs of this film shouldn't be tarnished by such an outdated concept like reality. The real stars of the film are Beethoven's music and the visual imagery used to portray what the musical passages are trying to say. This technique breathes new life into his work, the film ending with a stunning visual interpretation of Beethoven as an abused child, set to the strains of the spectacular "Ode to Joy." Regardless of the truth, the impressions left from the film are not easily forgotten.


Comments

Immortal Beloved Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: R, 1994

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