Amadeus (1984)

amadeusDirector: Milos Forman

Writer: Peter Shaffer (Screenplay) Peter Shaffer (Stage Play)

Starring: F Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice, Simon Callow, Christine Ebersole, Jeffrey Jones


Plot: The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri – now confined to an insane asylum.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Brilliant Biographical Story


Story: Amadeus starts as an elderly Antonio Salieri (Abraham) admitting that he killed Mozart, leading to him getting taken to the insane asylum. Salieri recounts his story of his small town beginnings dreaming of being a composer and after a moment of fate he ends up in a position where he can learn music leading to him job as head conductor to the king of Austria. Mozart (Hulce) is the world renowned composer that has taken the notice of all around him with Salieri dreaming of one day being as good as Mozart.

We see how Mozart constantly ends up out shinning Salieri with his music leading to the rivalry between the two, with Salieri serious look on life and Mozart’s flamboyant style of just getting through each moment. Salieri moves into the position of being the connection to the Emperor to get his unique work out there but he is really just building him up for failure trying to break him down with criticize of his work.

Amadeus gives us a brilliant look at one of the greatest musical minds in the history of man. We know the basic idea of what happened to him but now we get to see it through the eyes of one of his closest friends even if he is filled with envy for him. What starts as envy is filled with respect and seeing how a talented person can get used by all the people close to him which will drive him into his bad ways. Overall this really is a brilliant drama that is told in a way we can just enjoy.


Actor Review


F Murray Abraham: Antonio Salieri admits that he killed Mozart, but now he is confessing to how he believes he was responsible for the death from inside an insane asylum. We watch how he got his dreams of working with music and constantly found himself lacking the complete flair and natural ability of Mozart leading to jealous and planning to bring him down slowly. F Murray gives us a brilliant and well deserved Oscar winning performance in this role.seleir

Tom Hulce: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is the flamboyant and brilliant composer who lives life on the edge spending every penny he ever received for his work, he pushes the boundaries to what is accepted even if his work is loved. He gains inspiration from his personal stories which will gain him enemies from his own confident in the government. Tom gives a performance that could easily have won him an Oscar too.morzart

Elizabeth Berridge: Constanze Mozart is the wife of Wolfgang, she supports him in all the work he does but just wants him to actually get paid for the work so they can look after the family, even after she lives him she feels guilty. Elizabeth does a good job in this role.

Roy Dotrice: Leopold Mozart is the overbearing father who pushed Amadeus into this career path making him the puppet when he was younger as he was leading him to become the biggest name in music of his time. After his death we learn about the control he had over Amadeus. Roy is good in this supporting role.

Support Cast: Amadeus has a well performed supporting cast that each hold their own in the characters they are playing.

Director Review: Milos FormanMilos gives us one of the best biographical films of all time.


Biographical: Amadeus shows the troubles of the great man and how it was his eventual downfall.

Music: Amadeus uses all the music of the great man and how it would have look on stage for the fans witnessing it all.

Settings: Amadeus recreates all the settings that would have been used during the time the film is set.

Suggestion: Amadeus is one that could have been watched by anyone to learn about a part of history. (Watch)


Best Part: The performances are brilliant.

Worst Part: If you are not a fan of classical music you will struggle.


Believability: Yes

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Won 8 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor, Director and Writing also nominated for a further 3.

Box Office: $51 Million

Budget: $18 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 40 Minutes

Tagline: Everything you’ve heard is true.

Trivia: When the movie won Best Picture at The 57th Annual Academy Awards (1985), Sir Laurence Olivier was presenting the award. He went up to the podium, opened the envelope and said “Amadeus.” The problem was he forgot to read the nominees first.


Overall: Brilliant drama about one of the greatest musicians of all time



Parenthood (1989)

rob challengeRob pick this comedy starring Steve Martin, I am not looking forward to this one.


Director: Ron Howard

Writer: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel (Screenplay) Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Ron Howard (Story)

Starring: Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, Jason Robards, Rick Moranis, Tom Hulce, Martha Plimpton, Keanu Reeves, Joaquin Phoenix


Plot: The Buckman family is a Midwestern family all dealing with their lives: estranged relatives, raising children, pressures of the job, and learning to be a good parent and spouse.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Nice Drama, Weak Comedy


Story: Parenthood starts by introducing us to Gil (Martin) and his family wife Karen (Steenburgen) along with his kids dealing with everyday problems. We move to meet Gil’s sister Helen (West) and her kids’ troublemaker Garry (Phoenix) and teenager Julie (Plimpton), we also meet the third sister Susan (Kozak) and husband Nathan (Moranis). We have to watch as they have one big family get together for a big surprise the kid brother Larry (Hulce) return.

We watch how each family has to deal with their own personal problems and achievements as they try to raise their kids in their own different ways.

Parenthood does show how different people raise their children with different problems, how they all react to how they were raised. I do think something is missing in this film and that would be the other side of the spouse families which we hear nothing about. I personally don’t think this needed to throw in silly jokes and could have worked well as a light hearted drama about a real moment in life for all the characters.


Actor Review


Steve Martin: Gil is one of parents who wants to raise his kids the way he never thought he was raised, he wants them to have fun but when one is struggling at school he goes out his way to try and help with the situation realizing that he is causing the same problems his father had. Steve is an actor I never really enjoyed watching and he does good enough job that really works as a parent.


Mary Steenburgen: Karen is Gil’s wife who supports the way he goes around raising the kids but is always wanting to increase the size of the family. Mary gives a good supporting performance.


Dianne Wiest: Helen is the sister of Gil and single mother of two very different children with older problems compared too Gil’s. she has been trying her hardest to raise them both while trying to move on with her life. Dianne could have easily been the main character and is much more interesting character to watch.


Jason Robards: Frank is the father of the whole group who hasn’t raised his kids the way he would have liked, he has to turn to Gil for advice on handling a problem with Larry his youngest. Jason does a good performance showing he knows he own mistakes.


Rick Moranis: Nathan is the brother in law who wants to raise his little girl in a way to educate her his own way, he has distanced her from any other kids making it difficult for her to socialized. Rick does give us a good performance and clashes against Martin’s well.


Support Cast: Parenthood has a huge supporting cast that all deliver well, I think Keanu Reeves really is the stand out performer of the film.


Director Review: Ron HowardRon does a good job in this directing job but I do think he is better at the serious films.


Comedy: Parenthood does a few moments of comedy but not enough for my liking.

Settings: Parenthood shows very realistic home environment that all works for how the story is being told.

Suggestion: Parenthood is one to try, I do think it could be slightly too long and could have more laughs. (Try It)


Best Part: Keanu Reeves shines as the dumb boyfriend/husband.

Worst Part: Too Long.

Funniest Scene: Most of Reeves scenes.


Believability: These could all be real situations for families.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars.

Box Office: $100 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

Tagline:  It could happen to you.


Overall: Solid enough story that seems to get stuck into the idea of being a comedy