movie film review | chris tookey


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  Shine Review
Tookey's Rating
7 /10
Average Rating
9.00 /10
David (adult) ......... Geoffrey Rush , David (young man) ..... Noah Taylor , David (boy) ........... Alex Rafalowicz
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Directed by: Scott Hicks
Written by: Jan Sardi

Released: 1996
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: Australia
Colour: C
Length: 105

The true story of an eccentric genius, Australian concert pianist David Helfgott, who triumphed over mental illness to find love and success with the help of a good woman (Lynn Redgrave).
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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But itís no sentimental, disease-of-the-week TV movie, thanks to Jan Sardiís intelligent script, Scott Hicksís sensitive direction, and an array of outstanding performances, with Googie Withers and John Gielgud at the head of a strong supporting cast.

Itís also a tragic tale of how destructive a fatherís love can be. Davidís sternly competitive, Jewish father (brilliantly played by Armin Mueller-Stahl) tortures himself mentally for the loss of his own musical ambitions and relations in the Holocaust. In refusing to let his son ďdestroyĒ the family by going overseas to study, he unintentionally tortures this sweet-natured boy, so guiltily aware that he can never satisfy his fatherís expectations or fulfil his own musical talent, without escaping from his fatherís boa-constrictor embrace.

David Helfgott is luminously portrayed by all three actors playing him, especially Noah Taylor (the wonderful young actor from Flirting and The Year My Voice Broke) and stage actor Geoffrey Rush (pictured), in one of the most extraordinary big-screen debuts for years. Both deserve Oscar nominations for their shared role, and if you enjoy thoughtful films or love classical music, I would advise you strongly not to miss this. Itís a biopic on a par with My Left Foot and An Angel at My Table : heartfelt, powerful, emotionally raw, uplifting.

ďI would like to thank all those people who were happy to bankroll the film as long as I wasnít in it.Ē

(Geoffrey Rush, accepting the Best Actor Oscar for Shine)

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