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Saturday, March 17, 2007

GREENLIGHT #120: Copying Beethoven (with "Pollock" and "The Right Stuff")

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Ann and Les have no need to repeat their viewing of Copying Beethoven (2007.) In fact, they weren't thrilled to see it in the first place. This movie says it tells the tale of the last months of Beethoven's life but it changes a few things along the way. Like, for instance, in their version Beethoven, played thoroughly unconvincingly by Ed Harris, the character of Beethoven's "copyist" is not the male Carl Holtz but a pretty female Anna Holtz, played by Diane Krueger, and then they introduce a semi-love story. To add to the insult, Ms. Krueger didn't seem to understand that this was a period piece as she continued to speak with a modern day accent. The writers, Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson, didn't seem to understand about the period piece either as their jokes, such as they were, were modern day crude. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends a film he loved that was directed by and starred the usually fascinating Mr. Harris and it's called Pollock (2000.) In this film, Harris plays the talented but troubled artist Jackson Pollock who is steadfastly supported by his wife Lee, played by Marcia Gay Harden. However, her help doesn't save him from the cruelties of the artistic world. The movie also includes a lovely performance by Bud Cort. Ann recommends a film in which she thought Mr. Ed Harris made his mark as he played the fabulously upright character of John Glenn who was among the amazing group of men who were the United States' first astronauts. Everyone from Sam Shepard to Scott Glenn to Dennis Quaid to Fred Ward to Barbara Hershey to Kim Delaney were perfect for the film version of Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff (1983.)

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