Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 1995. Hollywood Pictures, Interscope Communications, Polygram Filmed Entertainment, The Charlie Mopic Company. Screenplay by Patrick Sheane Duncan. Cinematography by Oliver Wood. Produced by Robert W. Cort, Ted Field, Michael Nolin. Music by Michael Kamen. Production Design by David Nichols. Costume Design by Aggie Guerard Rodgers. Film Editing by Trudy Ship. Academy Awards 1995. Golden Globe Awards 1995.
Pure schmaltz. Richard Dreyfuss devotes his life to being the best possible music teacher he can be at the high school he teaches at, while ignoring his responsibilities to his ever-patient wife (Glenne Headly) and his deaf son. When the school board threatens to cut the music program entirely, he finds himself giving the fight of a lifetime that just might save him personally as well as professionally. Dreyfuss’ performance is pure impressive gusto, spanning decades and giving powerful speeches, but the whole thing is so tepidly mawkish that you would think the director was assuming that no one watching it has ever watched a drama before. Hailed as the Forrest Gump of its year, it’s just as obvious and annoying as Zemeckis’s film without having Gump‘s more enjoyably wry moments.