Dyrygent (1980)

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Polish director Andrzej Wajda had a habit of switching gears between socially conscious films and pure box-office entertainments. The Conductor, released in Poland in 1979 as Dyrygent, falls into the latter category. John Gielgud stars as an old and venerated orchestra conductor, making his annual personal appearance in a small Polish town. Violinist Krystyna Janda, who like the guest conductor is a devotee of Beethoven, finds her entire life altered by Gielgud's brief stay. The film made a few allegorical points about making oneself accessible to change, but otherwise The Conductor is all that it seems to be on surface: A simple story, simply told. English-language prints of The Conductor are blighted by the poor dubbing of the principal characters--with of course the exception of John Gielgud.

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Only works in parts but fails to resonate as a whole.

Nov 10, 2005 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

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