Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

USA, 1995.  Hollywood Pictures, Interscope Communications, Polygram Filmed Entertainment, The Charlie Mopic Company.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

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 () 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.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Actor (Richard Dreyfuss)

Golden Globe Award Nominations:  Best Actor-Drama (Richard Dreyfuss); Best Screenplay


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