|SHINE (director/writer: Scott Hicks; screenwriter: Jan Sardi; cinematographer: Geoffrey Simpson; editor: Pip Karmel; music: David Hirschfelder; cast: Geoffrey Rush (David Helfgott as an adult), Noah Taylor (David as a young man), Alex Rafalowicz (David as a child), Armin Mueller-Stahl (Peter), Lynn Redgrave (Gillian), John Gielgud (Cecil Parkes), Googie Withers (Katharine Prichard), Nicholas Bell (Ben Rosen); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Jane Scott; Fine Line Features; 1996)|
by the true story of the Australian
classical pianist prodigy David Helfgott."
by Dennis Schwartz
biopic inspired by the true story of the Australian
classical pianist prodigy David Helfgott. It's
directed and based on the story by Scott Hicks ("The
Snow Falling on Cedars"/"The Boys Are Back"/"The Lucky
One"). The tasteful script is by Jan Sardi.
I was always wary of being manipulated, but Hicks
pushes all the right emotional buttons to generate
sympathy for his subject who will through a hard
struggle overcome his handicap. In the end there's
more good things in the pic than bad ones.
must overcome the strains of a domineering father (Armin
Mueller-Stahl), a Polish Jewish
survivor of World War II, while growing up in
the 1950s in Australia before succeeding as a
classical musician. In 1970, the young musician
suffers a mental breakdown and retreats to obscurity
before mounting a climb back. That the brooding dad is
the sole villain seems to be a stretch. Otherwise the
film seems solid and well-produced. It wins the battle
over turning sentimental by constantly turning back
Geoffrey Rush gives an inspired performance as David, both as a youngster and an adult. Noah Taylor shares with Rush playing David as a youngster, and he does a fine job to capture his introversion.
REVIEWED ON 10/27/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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