Shine (1996)

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 07/31/99 22:00:49

"Quality all over."
5 stars (Awesome)

Shine is one of those movies that the average Joe just kind of kicks the dirt when he's dragged along to it. "Do I hafta?" But once in and duly involved, it would take a cynical sort to want to leave early. The performances here are top notch, and the script not only allows for such strength but calls for it.

As a young erratic piano genius, Noah Taylor is perhaps the most overlooked of those acclaimed in this film. The little guy is a genuine freak, and this character is right up his alley. More acclaimed was the actor playing the same genius later in life, Geoffrey Rush, who took out the best actor Oscar for the role. If that wasn't enough, Ahmin Mueller-Stahl, as the overbearing father, is a study of nastiness.

The story - piano crazy youngster is recognised as musical genius but daddy is a prick and won't let him go study. Piano cray youngster slowly becomes just crazy as dad get's worse. The rest is for you to discover.

Despite the popular assumption that this film won the Best Actor Ward because it portrayed a mentally ill man, like Slingblade, Rain Man, Elephant Man, etc etc. Rush was decried as an actor who would never be heard from again. Well, numerous award nominations later he's still going strong and has shown he can pull off drama and comedy time and again. Shine was his moment to really get his strengths on display, and there's lots to show.

Funny, dramatic, ultimately feel-good, but in a very feel-bad way, this is a great rainy Saturday's viewing. Enjoy.

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