The other day, one of my all time favorite movies was on my beloved Ovation TV. I watched it for what was probably the 50th time. My love of this movie was only confirmed further by this week’s episode of 30 Rock. Nice to know that Tina Fey and I have similar taste in movies. I also enjoyed the Jackanory’s post on a film his dad made him watch as a kid which wound up having a real impact on his creative outlook. This is exactly the case for me and Amadeus. My dad was really into this movie when it came out, and I can honestly say that I was not in a rush to see it…classical music and royalty and guys in tights…gag me with a spoon, dad. I think he might have actually sat me down and made me watch it, and it was then that I realized its’ goodness.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, here’s a little breakdown. It’s in some way a bio pic of Mozart, but really it’s so much more (and I don’t think entirely factual when it comes to Mozart’s life). It’s told through the eyes of Salieri, who has lived to be an old man and is trying to kill himself as the movie starts. He has made a decent living as a composer, a life that most people would have been happy with. He is miserable though because he knows he has never been and will never be as talented as Mozart. Mozart is long gone at this point, but the movie flashes back to when they meet each other as young men and the story begins.
What is so awesome about this movie is that it touches on so many aspects of being an artist. It’s about making a living with your art, jealousy, how there’s always someone better than you out there, watching the undeserving gain recognition, being yourself, conforming to whatever is in fashion at the moment, helping your fellow artist out, and yet knowing when to keep your mouth shut for your own benefit. It encompasses the highs and the lows, and is told through the eyes of an artist who is smart and self aware enough to know his limitations. Salieri knows he will never have the impact that Mozart will have, and he can’t live with that. I mean, who sets out to be a mediocre photographer, or composer, or scientist, or writer, or anything involving one’s life’s passion?
This is a good movie. If you’ve already seen it…word up. If not, I highly recommend you Netflix that shit and thank me later. It’s shot beautifully, the music is amazing, the opera performances are so entertaining, great acting, superb costumes….really inspiring.