Sir John Gielgud
|"In this world only the strong survive. The weak get crushed like insects."|
|Time: 105 mins.|
Won Academy Award for Best Actor (Rush). Nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Stahl), Director, Film Editing, Original Score, Original Screenplay & Best Picture.
SYNOPSIS: The story of real-life classical pianist David Helfgott, an Australian who rose to international prominence at a very young age in the 1950s and '60s. It covers his youth through his psychological collapse as a young man, ending in his triumphant return to concert performing.
BOTTOM LINE: It's not every day that you come across a film as intelligently written, brilliantly acted and emotionally uplifting as SHINE. With input from Helfgott himself, we are taken on his life's journey from his promising, yet constricting childhood, through his late teens filled with hope and confusion and onto his adult years where he strikes out on the road to recovery from the mental illness that took him away from the world. The string that ties his story together, for good or ill, is his domineering father played by Stahl. A man who lost his parents to the Holocaust, Peter Helfgott is determined to keep his family together no matter what the costs. In David's case, his father's emotional strangle hold gives him the gift of his musical genius, but destroys his true self. Rush and Taylor, as the adult and teen David, give equally amazing performances. Rush has the showier role as the somewhat mentally incapacitated adult, but it's Taylor's quiet determination that lays the groundwork for him. Never have I loathed and loved a character as much as Stahl's. The concert sequence where David first plays the Rach 3 in public is astounding, both in its emotional impact and the way it was shot. It gets inside the musician's head like never before. An engaging, heartbreaking and inspirational tale of family, genius and the power of love.