Music of the Heart (1999)
I want you all to take a second and just… breathe. Deep breaths. Now listen to me. I want you all to play from your heart. Forget about the audience, watch me, you’ll do just fine. Just play from here.
— Roberta Guaspari
Saturday evening when I was looking after my little brother, he had the channel changed to Movieplex and Music of the Heart was playing. I haven’t seen this movie in a couple of years and so we saw it as we were eating our pizza for dinner.
I was surprised to find out that Wes Craven directed this movie. I am glad that he took a different genre of movie. I have to say that if I saw this movie in its original theaterical release, then I would have been more enraptured by it.
The movie is about Roberta Guaspari (Meryl Streep), a substitute teacher that teaches violin to underprivileged Harlem students after she is abandoned by her husband, Brian Turner (Aidan Quinn).
Devastated, she slowly rebuilds her life with the help of her mother, Assunta (Cloris Leachman). The violin program grows over the next ten years. Over a thousand students have taken her program.
Until one day, she is abruptly fired, because the school district jettisoned the arts programs. Roberta vows to fight back.
In the helping hands of the principal; Janet Williams (Angela Bassett), fellow teacher, Isabel Vasquez (Gloria Estefan) and budding photogapher, Dorothea von Haeften (Jane Leeves), they organize a concert to help save the violin program for another year.
I like the movie, but it’s a typical “fantastic musical teacher trimpuhs at the end” film like Mr. Holland’s Opus. They are good, but formulaic.
Judgment: If you are looking for a nice inspirational movie, this is up your alley.