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Overall Rating
3.8

Awesome: 14%
Worth A Look62%
Average: 18%
Pretty Bad: 2%
Total Crap: 4%

5 reviews, 20 user ratings


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Music of the Heart
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by Greg Muskewitz

"Craven is just as capable of directing the littler GenerationXers"
4 stars

"Music of the Heart" is a predictable story of a protagonist who has an impossible task to undertake, and gets it done better than anyone else could have. But without scrutiny, it's the feeling of inspiration which makes this movie tick. Even though it is based on a true story, it's fairly obvious that it's had a Hollywood makeover, and has been touched up. The only other faults that the film has, is its length (there are a lot of unnecessary scenes included), and the fact that it starts off like a TV Movie of the Week.

"Music of the Heart," which was once entitled "50 Violins," is the story of Roberta Guaspari, a very determined middle-aged mother of two boys. When the movie starts, Roberta is an emotional wreck, moving into her new home in New York. Previously, her husband and the family moved around quite often with his being in the Navy, but his last move was with a friend of hers, not the family. Looking for a career to support them, Roberta received the chance to teach violin at a school in Central Park East. The position wasn't an easy one to garner. She had to haggle her way in, and even once she was in, the young students (maybe a fourth/fifth grade level) didn't make it easy for her.
Before you know it, there's been a 10-year jump. Roberta's violin classes have grown largely successful, and outreaches five schools, bringing in 150 students. The film's main conflict --after several just to get you warmed up-- is when the music program's budget is cut, and Roberta's class is eliminated. Following that of course, is when Roberta and her friends and colleagues fight to reinstate it. Ultimately, through one of the friends, they gather up the best of the best, mixed with the kids, to create a fundraising event called "Fiddlefest." Warm feelings and flowing emotions follow.
Seeing a smile on the childrens' faces brings one to your own. "Music of the Heart" is very capable of making you feel good and inspiring you, as it takes a hold of your soul. It's filled to the brim with pathos, but as the film controls you, you don't really mind so much because it is supporting and fighting for a good cause.
Shlock-horror director Wes Craven ("Scream") takes a PG-sided story, and while he has always been successful at handling teen performers, is also quite able to handle a much younger group. Meryl Streep shines --which is no surprise-- and is much better here than in the patho-ridden performance of "One True Thing" (although they're fairly evident here too). Never the less, I don't believe that she should get an Oscar nomination, because there are so many other unrecognizable performances out there just waiting to be discovered. (Such is the case with Elaine Cassidy in the upcoming "Felicia's Journey.")

No matter, "Music of the Heart" is a film to see! It's nailed down in almost all aspects, and what more of a reason do you need to see a film that so encapsulates the human emotion?

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1480&reviewer=172
originally posted: 11/02/99 20:01:11
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User Comments

3/01/11 Thumper A Feel Good Heavy Duty Cry. Good Tears. Must see. 5 stars
2/04/05 sheila one of the best 5 stars
1/21/04 Betty White Streep lifts this routine school drama from death. 3 stars
3/09/03 Jack Sommersby Cliched melodrama with not a single affecting moment. 1 stars
8/16/02 I Can't Swim I am a sucker for this type of movie, and served up by Streep it feels even better 4 stars
1/14/02 Flick Chick Schmaltzy crap 2 stars
12/21/01 Andrew Carden Heartwarming and Realistic Drama, but Very Unentertaining For Some. 4 stars
8/29/01 Gary Better than expected, but still very very average. 3 stars
8/03/01 Terrie Smith What a versatile actress Streep is; film is preditable but woth seeing. 4 stars
6/14/00 Richard Wright Watchable, but haven't you seen this sort of movie loads of times before? I think you have. 3 stars
5/15/00 Ed I don't need to even see this film to know that it's crap 1 stars
5/14/00 Belinda Meryl does it again! 4 stars
5/10/00 Elvisfan I am man enough to admit I cried like a mutha for the last 45 minutes, straight through! 5 stars
11/14/99 Debbie Great Movie, very emjoyable 4 stars
11/14/99 MerylFan MERYLvelous!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/14/99 Evan (aka MERYL FANATIC!!!!!!!) It was awesome, a MUST-SEE movie!!!! Meryl is outstanding as always. A+++ 5 stars
11/14/99 Justin Root Unbelievably supberb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/13/99 Michele STREEPendous!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/03/99 Malbert Too long but a cute movie 4 stars
10/26/99 Bridgette Starts off slowly, but very charming as it goes on. Very sweet. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  29-Oct-1999 (PG)

UK
  21-Jan-2000 (PG)

Australia
  11-May-2000 (PG)




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