Here's the place to talk about DVDs (or VHS) films and movies you have seen on television and recommend or don't recommend. Discuss actors and scores, too.
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- Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
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On my list for this weekend. I almost saw it on Sunday but "State of Play" won out since I was up for a thriller. And it was a good one too.
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
I have long been a reader of the Steve Lopez column in the Los Angeles Times, so my wife and I have been following this story from the beginning, long before it was a book or movie. Needless to say we are eager to see it. It is a fascinating true story. Hollywood tampered with the story only mildly. In real life Lopez is happily married. Hollywood had to make the marriage troubled in order to introduce a little dramatic tension. For the most part the movie is true to the real life story. This may be its weakness. When you portray a crazy man, the plot becomes disjointed. The reviews have been mixed, largely because of an incoherent plot without any meaningful resolution of the problem. It has been heartwarming and encouraging the way people have reached out to help Nathaniel in real life. I'll let you know my opinion when we see it.
The reason that there wasn't a "meaningful resolution of the problem" in the movie, I assume, is because it was a true story. Unfortunately in real life, things don't always turn out with that "happily ever after" ending that people like to see in a movie.
That's right Cosima. They considered a happy Hollywood ending with Nathaniel giving a triumphant concert, but decided against it. I am happy that they were relatively true to the reality, because I and many Times readers have grown close to Nathaniel over the past few years. We don't want Hollywood messing with his life. I am frankly surprised that Lopez acquiesced in giving himself marital problems in the movie, but then Lopez is only secondary in the story. In actuality the real Lopez is a decent and humane person who is worth knowing through his column.
Thanks for the recommendations...I saw it on Sunday afternoon (thanks to the rainout of the Phillies-Mets game, for which I had tickets) and agree that it's an outstanding film. I liked one particular line by Downey: although he was exasperated and even frightened by Foxx' character, he summed up his feelings about him by saying, "I've never loved anything in my life as much as he loves music."
We finally got around to watching the DVD of the movie. The ending was better than I expected. Nathaniel might not be cured of his mental illness, but there was redemption through music and friendship. Using the slow movement from Beethoven's opus 132 for the scene where Nathaniel is given the cello was a stroke of genius. By the way, one of the phony revisions of the screenplay was to have the cello donated by a little old lady. In real life it was a corporate executive that made the donation. I suppose that wouldn't be politically correct to portray an executive as a compassionate human. The special features included a nice little interview with the real Lopez and Ayers.
I have just finished reading the book by Lopez. It is just as gripping as the movie and fills in a lot of details. You get a chance to see where the movie falsified the facts to get a better story, but is it really better than the truth? By the way, I might recommend seeing the video "A Man Called Norman." This tells the true story of Mike Adkins reaching out to his neighbor "Weird Norman."
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