018 - Amadeus (1984)

As with all geniuses, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was flawed. He was one of the best composers to ever grace the past, but he became obsessed with his work - and ultimately, he succumbed to illness caused by this exhaustion.

Amadeus is the telling of this story, of the man who appeared to his peers to have been touched by the voice of God. The story is told from the court composer of Vienna's point of view - Antonio Salieri - who explains how he became jealous of God's inclination towards the man who he describes as 'obscene'.

If you have already read my review on The Age Of Innocence you will understand that I have a distaste of films that are period dramas. Amadeus is (yes, you guessed it!) a period drama.

Theatrical Poster
That said, Amadeus - once the operatic carry-ons are overlooked - tells a remarkable story. Mozart himself is played by Tom Hulce, who seems to be made for the part. His acting of the mad composer is occasionally hilarious - the laugh is certainly something - and sometimes borders on the distressing - watching Mozart falling slowly into madness through Hulce is an acting at it's finest.

The accompanying music varies rather a lot on the atmosphere. For example, towards the end Mozart is composing the piece that inevitably kills him and throughout the background the piece is playing, depending on how it comes to the composer. Using this technique it enables the audience to get a glimpse of what is going on in his head. On the flip side however, the operatic scenes are often long and cumbersome.

It should be noted that the film, while loosely based on the events of Mozart's life is just a story. While the piece in the film was the same final piece that Mozart created, he did not create it with the man accused of overworking him.

All in all, a decent film... but please Empire, no more period dramas?