This film that shows the last ten years of Mozart’s life told years later by his rival Salieri won eight Oscar awards for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Director, Best Writing, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Makeup.
And I was … well, sort of underwhelmed. But before I dig into what I did and didn’t like about the film, here’s the trailer:
First, with what I did like, because there was definitely a lot to love about this movie. The music, for one. The music was gorgeous. And more than just the music – the performances accompanying the music was fantastic. Regardless of the length, I couldn’t look away. I wanted to sink into the opera and relish all of it. The characters, I adored: Wolfgang, Salieri, and Constanza were all brilliantly played. The costumes were rich and gorgeous and the sets magnificent.
And now, for what I didn’t particularly like. It was long. Three aching hours long. And it felt like five hours to me. I kept glancing at my clock – which I rarely ever do while watching movies – wondering, when is this going to end? You’d think that with so much time, every last scene, every little performance would need to be absolutely necessary to conveying the story, but for many of the scenes, I didn’t see why they needed to be so long or be there at all.
Furthermore, there was nothing particularly clever in the shooting of the film that captured me either. Perhaps it’s just because I’ve been watching certain films that do so many pleasant things with composition and camera movement (Drive. I mean, that film is gorgeous), I was getting so bored with the cut here, cut there, cut to this person, cut back to that person …
Will I watch it again? No. Most likely not. Did I enjoy it? Yes, I rather did. Would I recommend it to someone else? If you like period pieces, music, and are willing to carve out a big chunk of time for an Academy Award winning film, then by all means, yes.