Out-and-out begging for an Oscar might have been more dignified than the brazen performance by Richard Dreyfuss in the title role of Mr. Holland's Opus. Here, Dreyfuss makes his bid for Oscar number two (he won in 1977 for The Goodbye Girl), and given the fare Hollywood has seen fit to throw us this year, I'll be surprised if he doesn't win.
Mr. Holland is, of all things, a lowly high school band teacher, and the film follows 30 years of his life, from 1965 to the present. Mr. Holland, in his first year of teaching, finds himself turning into that very thing which he detests, a dry and boring instructor who isn't getting through to the kids, so he decides to make a few changes in his teaching style to get the students involved and interested. Using all manner of unorthodox teaching methods, Mr. Holland eventually breaks through and becomes the darling of John F. Kennedy High School, and we see the profound effect he really does have on a number of his students.
Continue reading: Mr. Holland's Opus Review