Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mind the bad hair

You could probably make a film about every year of Beethoven's life. Copying Beethoven (2006) is about his last. A very round Ed Harris plays the great composer, an eccentric genius who takes random showers in this fictionalized story. Somehow Harris doesn't disappear in the character (though an IMDB user thinks the opposite), unlike Gary Oldman. Diane Kruger as Beethoven's copyist Anna is youthful as the part requires, but has a distracting American accent (which is very odd because she is German). Director Agnieszka Holland (Olivier Olivier, Europa Europa) plays it dark--the lighting, that is--just as it would have been in those times. What people did before the copy machine was invented is tedious now, but the effort makes great work even more remarkable. Beethoven's erratic nephew Karl and Anna's sweetheart Martin are just side characters whose stories are not resolved. This is for classical music lovers, but not for everyone else.

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