- He says, "I love you." She says, "I know." But it's not the one you think. No Wookiees in this movie.
- A huge variety of music courses through this film. The most important tributaries are the rivers Beethoven, Gershwin and Lennon.
- One character has hair like the sunset.
Drum roll, please...
Title: Mr. Holland's Opus
Director: Stephen Herek
Original Release: 1995
My Overall Rating: 5 stars out of 5
I love this movie but at times, it can be difficult to watch as a lot of it hits awfully close to home. As many of you already know, I am a music teacher by profession. I am by no means a Mr. Holland but it's easy enough to relate to his experiences. It had been many years since I'd last watched the movie and one thing that struck me this time was the fact that so many of the touchstones of his career are his relationships with individual students. They, even more than his colleagues, were the ones who challenged his perceptions and forced him to grow as a teacher. That has certainly been the case for me as well.
I've met a lot of the kids we see in the story: the good-hearted kid who just can't get her head around the notes and the "genius" whose ego is his own undoing. The girl with a voice that could set the world on fire? Yup, I know her, too. For a teacher, your students are the reason you show up everyday. Sometimes they break your heart. But every once in a while, if you are lucky, one comes along and changes your life.
It was fun sharing the film with my daughter for the first time. She is going into sixth grade next year and she's already a devoted band kid. Plus, she lives with me so she knows a thing or two about the challenges of balancing a teaching career with parenting. Near the movie's glorious end, she said "I wish this were based on a true story."
As for the clues, you're going to have to watch to understand. I hope you will. Keep a box of tissues handy.
Next meeting is Friday, September 11th. I'll post September's blog list tomorrow. For September, pick another society member's choice from our ever increasing library to review. Today, please visit my fellow cinephiles, listed below: