In Search of Beethoven Reviews

January 7, 2010
Tells the story of its subject in a clear, accessible, and gimmick-free manner while still preserving, or perhaps even cultivating, a core sense of wonder at the creative monuments he bequeathed to us all.
December 17, 2009
In Search of Beethoven trudges through the composer's life and works, pausing along the way for the usual smorgasbord of talking heads and performance clips. The results are shapeless, drab and mostly predictable.
October 30, 2009
With In Search of Beethoven, documentarian Phil Grabsky has created a splendid work that will be a revelation to the uninitiated and a joy to music lovers.
October 30, 2009
Grabsky's appreciation of Ludwig van Beethoven follows the familiar contours, but it pays attention to the humanizing specifics that bring us closer to the subject.
October 30, 2009
Grabsky does manage to convey how shockingly dramatic Beethoven's music seemed to the first people who heard it, and the musicians' sensitivity and articulation--both verbal and musical -- fire this chronicle of one man's extraordinary artistic journey.
October 30, 2009
Beethoven's creative life, with all its achievements, cannot easily be reconciled with the image of a difficult, solitary figure, shadowed by depression. Grabsky, to his credit, doesn't try to make one life fit the other, but manages to illuminate both.
October 30, 2009
As good as the film is, Beethoven remains mysterious. He refuses to roll over, so to speak.
September 25, 2009
What made Ludwig such a great musician? The documentary In Search of Beethoven, directed by Phil Grabsky, answers that question reasonably well.
September 23, 2009
The film's real resource is its impressive array of talking heads, their intimate familiarity with the music, and their ability to impart graspable insight.
September 23, 2009
Beethoven's painful insecurities and petty squabbles are deftly balanced with generous musical examples.
September 22, 2009
The film stretches on too long... But the music soothes away a lot of complaints.
September 22, 2009
Beautifully lensed and intelligently crafted.
September 22, 2009
This sprawling (if somewhat overlong) film finds a level of discussion that should please aficionados and newcomers alike.
September 22, 2009
[A] highly entertaining and informative biography, presenting Beethoven as a working artist rather than a caricatured grumpy genius.
September 22, 2009
There is a lot of music, but never too much, and the story of Beethoven's struggle with his life and genius emerges forcefully and movingly.
April 17, 2009
If the interminable length of In Search of Beethoven doesn't put people off this repetitive documentary about "the world's greatest composer", then the lack of real insight into the man rather than the myth surely will.
April 17, 2009
At such length and in such detail, there are certainly dramas to describe and insights to be had, but a film this static and self-important doesn't really do them justice.
April 17, 2009
One wallow does not make a summer, but the combined forces of Ludwig's music and a chorus of celebrity erudition should help to take your mind off the April cacophony elsewhere.
April 17, 2009
British documentarist Phil Grabsky puts together an elegant if unchallenging chronicle of the composer's life, running through the highs and occasional lows while making free with long excerpts from the work.
April 17, 2009
The result is seriously intriguing: a tribute that avoids all biographical guff.