Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)

Directed by Stephen Herek

Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Jay Thomas, Olympia Dukakis

Author

Wonderful. So touching that I almost cried at the end. A cross between Children of a Lesser God and Forrest Gump. Don’t think the Gump-ish historical tie-ins (Vietnam, etc.) were necessary.

Dreyfuss is so damn likeable. He gets better and better throughout the movie as Mr. Holland. By the end we have grown so attached that we don’t want to let him go. Nice to see how his apporach changes with a series of very different characters. It’s a really good way to make him a real person.

And Jean Louisa Kelley does a fabulous job as Rowena. She’s beautiful. I see a big future for her. And that portrait of her singing face in front of the blue and red background is simply magical. The casting of the characters at different ages and the age make-up was fantastic. Great supporting cast.

The final scene was great, but probably would have packed more punch without the performance. Having him on stage breaking down with all the applause would have been great. But what ever happened to Rowena? I was almost sure she was going to make an appearance at his farewell. We get to see what happened to all of his prodigies except for her, and she seemed like she was the most special.

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