Director: Milos Forman
Starring: Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham
This is my first go at tackling a movie that was in my personal top ten going into this blog, so try to bear with me. I won't say much about it, because I've exhausted the topic elsewhere, but this is the best biopic of all time, and it's only kind of a biopic. It earned an extremely rare double-Best Actor nomination at the Oscars that year for Tom Hulce, who plays a goofy but brilliant Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and F. Murray Abraham, who plays court composer Antonio Salieri, the self-described "patron saint of mediocrities." The movie is basically 180 minutes of fantastic acting – not only from the two leads but from Jeffrey Jones, who plays Austrian Emperor Joseph II – fused with some of the greatest music ever composed and a rich, compelling plot. And despite all that marvelous music, and snippets of new productions of several of Mozart's greatest operas, the film itself never devolves into musical theater. There's so much that can be said about this movie, but I feel like I've said it all before. This is one that I'm willing to talk up a storm about if there's interest though, so I'll make this one kind of audience-driven. If you want to know my thoughts on something regarding this movie, use the comments section and we'll get a dialogue going.
The Good: Basically flawless movie in my opinion, but the best things about it are the use of Mozart's music for the score, and the performances from Hulce and Abraham.
The Bad: The laugh is tough to get used to at first, and if you've seen it, you know what "the laugh" is. It's not so bad after a while though, and it was likely quite accurate. Also, Elizabeth Berridge is a pretty terrible actress, but somehow she grew on me through repeated viewings.
The Skinny: Personal top ten going in, so of course it belongs on the list.