March 4, 2024 | Rome, Italy


By |2018-03-21T18:29:45+01:00March 1st, 2004|Reviews|


Date: 1996

Director: Scott Hicks

Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Lynn Redgrave, Armin Mueller-Stahl


distinguished performance from Geoffrey Rush as the adult David Helfgott focuses Scott Hicks’ otherwise choppy story. Australian piano prodigy Helfgott has his talent stunted by his father, a Polish Jew and a Holocaust survivor father Peter (Armin Mueller-Stahl) who dotes on him brutally. When David finally breaks free to study in London under Professor Cecil Parks (the late John Gielgood, at 91), his brilliance (Rachmaninoff) is once again undermined by paternal cruelty. While Noah Taylor is vulnerable and confused as the teen David, it is the final David, the broken-down Rush, who seizes the movie. Given a chance after 15 years in a psychiatric ward, Helfgott, aided by companion Gillian (Lynn Redgrave), emerges not exactly triumphant but closer to whole. When Hicks honors these smaller successes (or better said, when Rush jaggedly impresses their value), the story turns memorable and the powerful piano work finds its grandest context. Rush at his best is very good indeed.

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