Madame Sousatzka

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78%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 18

64%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 346

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Movie Info

In London, eccentric piano instructor Madame Sousatzka (Shirley MacLaine) takes on a new prize protégé, Manek (Navin Chowdhry), a teenage Bengali immigrant who displays incredible talent. Manek forms a close bond with his teacher, but soon discovers that she expects her pupils to become disciplined in all areas of life, and not just behind the piano. As he struggles to meet the challenges, Manek must also deal with his mother (Shabana Azmi), who vies with his teacher for his attentions.

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Critic Reviews for Madame Sousatzka

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for Madame Sousatzka

  • Oct 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 <i>To Sir with Love</i>, 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.
    Jim H Super Reviewer

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