Amadeus deserving Best Pic winner

Posted by · 2:22 pm · May 11th, 2008

OK! OK! Right you are, “Amadeus” was indeed a worthy winner in 1984 for best film. It was my hope that by not writing about it, you folks would realize I too liked the film, but in truth I should have covered it. I was worried about the article becoming too long.

Milos Forman made a masterpiece out of the Peter Shaffer play, a stunning study of art and the differences between genius and mediocrity as played out in the Vienna Court during the time of Mozart. Imagine being old Salieri and listening to your own music become extinct while that of your hated rival becomes immortal.  And the only two people who really knew how brilliant Mozart’s work was were Mozart and Salieri, who quietly in the film despises Mozart the man, but adores Mozart the artist.

I love the manner in which the wigs of Mozart are pink or purple, slightly different from the rest to suggest his rebelliousness, which came across in his music. He was the punk rocker of the opera set during his short lifetime.

F. Murray Abraham was superb as Salieri, best of all when he is standing over music written by Mozart and realizes it is truly astonishing, while Tom Hulce is his equal in every frame as the brilliant Mozart.

What I liked best about the film was the study of two artists, each in love with their art, one reasonably talented, the other gifted beyond human measure, finally coming face to face to create on Mozart’s death bed where Salieri sees and hears first hand how that brilliant mind composed, and simply cannot keep up. And what a stroke of genius to use the music of both on the soundtrack??!! A period masterpiece that never feels like a period film at all.

And each one of you is right…I should have discussed it because I love it.




1 Comment Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

1 response so far

  • 1 5-12-2008 at 10:25 am

    Silencio said...

    Amen, thank you. I thought I was in the twilight zone.

    I first saw it when I was home alone and bored at age 11. I remember being transfixed by 2 scenes: the death/funeral scene and the Don Giovanni scene. I just rewound and watched them again and again and again. I didn’t understand the context of them, but as pure film experience I was spell bound. At 11.

    The deathbed scene is also magnificent. Especially the way it closes with the cross cutting between Constanza coming back and Mozart dictating with the last of his strength, with the actual music underneath. Whew. I might have to watch this today.

    Of course now, my favorite scene (and F. Murray’s finest moment, to me) is when he’s describing his plan for using the requiem at Mozart’s funeral. The intensity throttling that feeble old man was louder than if he were screaming at the top of his lungs. And the sudden shift in tone at the end of the scene, as well as the drumroll bridging that scene to the parody scene…brilliant. I don’t know if another musical film will match this…