Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Amadeus (1984)

So it won 8 academy awards, but can I watch it in one sitting? The answer is no, thanks to a series of misadventures; I watched Amadeus over a three day period about an hour at a time (the director’s cut is three hours long), and I think it was better that way. The costumes, set and editing have the intricacy of a BBC miniseries, in other words they were awesome and accurate and won Amadeus two of its Oscars. The dialogue and plot are also super intriguing and the actors do a great job with what they are given.

Now I can talk everything that is wrong with this movie. In the movie Mozart has one son; in reality his wife gave birth six times and two of the children lived past infancy. She was only pregnant once in the movie. In the movie Mozart’s father never gives consent for His son to marry, while in reality the consent arrives the day after the wedding. Mozart did get to conduct the premier of the magic Flute in the weeks before his death, but he certainly did not die the morning after, and his wife Constanz nursed him, she didn’t have a weird affair in some shore.

Mozart’s rivalry with Salieri is greatly exaggerated to create a good story. The idea that Mozart’s greatest enemy was also his greatest admirer would be awesome, but it’s super not true. Yes, Mozart was extravagant and broke for a while, but he was not so purposefully sabotaged. The movie feels like it tells this unknown story of Mozart, but goes on only a few small interesting details of his life. Salieri and a few other musicians may have attended Mozart’s funeral in disregard of Vienna’s general practices at funerals.

And the hair! People who wore wigs wore their hair short so their heads wouldn’t get to hot. Meanwhile Mozart’s wife is perfectly feathered.
I’ve decided to avoid 80’s history movies. At least with the more current historical depictions the dated inaccuracies feel more natural, but I guess that makes me dated too.

Rock me Amadeus was inspired by Amadeus and the music video is about as historically accurate as the three hour movie I watched.

Worth seeing... once.

1 comment:

Vladigogo said...

Of course the film was based on a play that was written, I believe, in the late 70s and written by the same dude who did Equus.

I wonder how the film holds up. I remember loving it and buying the video of it. But I haven't watched it in over 20 years.