Amadeus (1984)

The 1980’s produced some amazing films. This one is a historically based well-directed drama film with just enough good comedy to keep you sitting up in your seat the whole running time. For me, this movie is legendary.

A director of a film this historical and entertaining has to be mentioned if for no other reason than to get recommendations of her/his other films to enjoy. Milos Forman directed this film and received much praise for doing so. The film was a commercial success and won the Academy award in 1985 for best film of the year. While is was an amazing achievement for Milos, he already had the multi award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest under his belt. This is a man who knows human nature well and can make a movie that lets us in on it. Too bad he didn’t direct more films. His directorial choices in Amadeus are very effective and worthy of respect.

F. Murray Abraham is the true star of this show as Antonio Salieri. He weaves feigned jealousy in with out and out admiration for Mozart. It rows into a tapestry of ugliness but one that most of us can relate to with someone in out lives like Mozart. Tom Hulce is Mozart. He has the most annoying laugh in the world but he makes a point through it. Understanding him is understanding Mozart. He brings the title character to life in his antics and also in his tortured times. Elizabeth Berridge I must say looks really good in a push up top! Her wardrobe person is to be congratulated. She is a good choice as the wife who cares about Mozart but at the same time laments her choice to be with one who acts like such a child.

This is the fictional retelling of the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It’s told by a crotchety old man Salieri who was a contemporary. In his dealings with Mozart, he is very jealous because it seems Amadeus can create well received music on demand. Salieri cannot. You get the rise and fall of a hyper-creative and genius musician/composer, his rants and partying are hysterical but I can’t help wondering whether he had some sort of mood disorder. Though talented, his behavior is very erratic and odd at times. It all just adds to the jokes. This is a drama but Amadeus left us a lot to laugh at.

I picked this as a great 100 because it had a huge impact on me in 1985 and I believe strongly it could resonate the same way with new audiences here in 2017. I’ve always said as a teacher I’d rather have a student who asserted her/him self and tried her/his best than a gifted prodigy who can follow the rules. The latter is Amadeus. I love the way this film presents this musical genius. What a great way to become more familiar with his life and times. I’ve seen in multiple times and will always go back to it. Tom Hulce (plays Amadeus) did some things after this but decided in the past 10 years to seclude in Seattle. IMDB tells us he his happy there and feels better than living in Los Angeles or New York. I’ve also admired his comedy work in National Lampoon’s Animal House.

10/10


My review Amadeus (1984) appeared first on Riley on Film.

Author: Damien Riley

I'm an online diarist, blog film critic, & podcaster. My views on films and life are often 'left of center' on, but I have respect for other viewpoints. I married my high-desert princess (now my queen). We have 3 children.