Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Amadeus (1984)

Starring F.Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce & Elizabeth Berridge

Rating 8/10

Madness and music. This is a fascinating tale of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most famous classical composers of all time. His talent was undeniable and his behaviour, bizarre, but in his heart he was a passionate lover of life.

The film begins with an old Salieri (Abraham), Mozart’s enemy, attempting suicide. He has gone mad because he believes he killed Mozart (Hulce). Flashback! Salieri is the court composer in Vienna. A proud and God-fearing man, he cannot believe that God would give so much talent to such a pathetic human being. This plants a seed of jealousy that ultimately leads to disaster, for him and for Wolfie.

Meanwhile, Mozart star is fully risen. He has married Constanze (Berridge) against his father’s wishes and spends his time partying and laughing (high-pitched crazy chortle). Mozart mocks Salieri’s music, which only makes him madder and more determined to bring the cackling fool down.  Mozart writes opera after opera which Salieri causes to fail, slippery little snake.

Mozart’s father dies and the money starts running out . Wolfie gets desperate. In a moment of utter genius Salieri dresses up as Mozart’s father and commissions him to write his father a requiem, which ends up being Wolfie’s own. Salieri pushes Mozart to finish the requiem, while working on The Magic Flute, knowing that all this work will eventually kill him. Which it does.

Oh jealousy is a cancer. This is a smart, dramatic, beautiful film, filled with revenge, hate, love and inspiring music. F. Murray Abraham is brilliant as the scheming Salieri. He plays him simultaneously sweet and evil. This was certainly a Best Actor winning performance! Hulce is perfect as the crazy, intense Wolfie, though the mix of accents with all the characters was a bit of a strange thing.

Genius seems to lead to unhappiness. This is the message that drives this film. No matter how talented a person is, there is always someone around the corner, willing and able to bring them down. This is a powerful film, a fascinating look at a man that brought so much creativity, joy and passion through his gift of music. Check it out!

Amadeus Trivia:

  • Budget – $18,000,000
  • Kenneth Branagh. Mel Gibson, Mick Jagger and Tim Curry were all in the running for the role of Mozart.
  • Hulce was inspired by the tantrums of John McEnroe.
  • Locations included: Vienna, Prague and the Count Nostitz Theatre where some of the Opera’s debuted 200 years before. Impressive…no?
  • The whole film was shot with natural light.
  • Music professionals who have studied this film found that all notes played on the piano were all spot on! Not one wrong note was played. Well done continuity.
  • The snacks that Berridge had to eat were made of marzipan. Not exactly delicious. She had to eat 15 and felt terribly sick by the end of the day.
  • When Abraham is dictating from Hulce, Hulce deliberately skipped lines in order for Abraham’s confusion to be real.

Next time, we’re off to Africa in the uber-classic film Out of Africa starring Robert Redford & Meryl Streep.

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2 comments on “Best Picture – Amadeus (1984)

  1. Pingback: Mozart enemy | Marieshomesite

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This entry was posted on November 30, 2011 by in Best Picture Films and tagged , , , , .
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