Madame Sousatzka Reviews

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hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2012
A piano teacher and a prodigy's mother vie for the pupil's devotion.
In the canon of teacher films, this provides a new category, the pedagogy of self-abnegation. Madame Sausatzka has an unfortunate string of pupils who learn from her then leave her. During their instruction she uses the basic tough love methods that we've come to expect from films of this ilk, and like To Sir with Love, which is the ultimate tough-love educator film, she forms an emotional bond with her students. But when she's left, she feels emptier, like a jilted lover. The film doesn't condemn her teaching methods; in fact it celebrates them because she emerges as an educator-hero, one who has sacrificed for the greater good. I don't like the message, but I think it's interesting.
Shirley MacLaine gives a very good performance, an abrasive attitude mixed with an inner pain. Navin Chowdhry is also very good, giving one of the better performance I've seen from a child actor.
The film's plot unfolds slowly, and it isn't until late in the second act that its pedagogical philosophy becomes clear. I also had no idea what was going on with the house in which Sousatzka was entrenched; I got that it was condemned or something, but the specifics of the problem and its solution failed to be a compelling plotline. Also, the subplot between Manek and Jenny was poorly set up.
Overall, I didn't like a lot about how the film was structured, but its basic idea is quite interesting.
February 18, 2011
If you ever had a great piano teacher, you will see her
again in this movie. Anne Ellzey was such a teacher in Alabama.
September 25, 2010
Well made but just not my cup of herbal tea
May 8, 2006
Big surprise, I'm a sucker for a music movie. I enjoyed this. I love 80s movies. It's a good story, entertaining, and the acting is good. Plus, how often do you get to see Twiggy anymore?
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