(out of 5)

Exciting film biography of concert pianist David Helfgott, who suffered under enormous personal pressures (mostly from an overbearing father) and had a complete nervous breakdown while still a young, burgeoning artist. Played by three extremely gifted actors, the film is probably at its most interesting during the section where plays the adolescent Helfgott, being pushed around by a very frightening as the insecure patriarch who wants his son to make up for everything he missed out on in life but doesn’t want him to have too much.   made an international mark for himself as the adult Helfgott, a babbling brook of incessant rambling who managed to find his way back from insanity and see a better adulthood through the love of a good woman () and recommitting himself to his work. Newcomer Scott Hicks has done a beautiful job directing, and Geoffrey Simpson’s photography is colourful and bright. Very touching, and extremely enjoyable, this one also features a beautiful selection of both original and adapted classical music (most especially Rachmaninoff, whose most difficult concerto is a centrepiece of the plot in this film).

Australian Film Finance Corporation, Film Victoria, The South Australian Film Corporation

Australia, 1996

Directed by

Story by Scott Hicks, Screenplay by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  TIFF 1996

Academy Award
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Geoffrey Rush as “David Helfgott”)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Armin Mueller-Stahl as “Peter Helfgott”)
Best Directing (Scott Hicks)
Best Film Editing (Pip Karmel)
Best Music (Original Dramatic Score) (David Hirschfelder)
Best Picture (Jane Scott, producer)
Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) (Screenplay by Jan Sardi; story by Scott Hicks)

Golden Globe Award
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Geoffrey Rush)

Best Motion Picture-Drama
Best Director (Scott Hicks)
Best Screenplay (Jan Sardi)
Best Original Score-Motion Picture (David Hirschfelder)


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