Madame Sousatzka Reviews

  • Apr 24, 2016

    good bio-pic of sorts.

    good bio-pic of sorts.

  • Jim H Super Reviewer
    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.

    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.

  • Aug 24, 2012

    I guess I missed the part where I was supposed to care at all.

    I guess I missed the part where I was supposed to care at all.

  • Dec 17, 2011

    A must see for the musically obsessed. Shirley is a gem of an actress. The storyline was a perfection in itself. Wish I could give it 10 out of 5 stars

    A must see for the musically obsessed. Shirley is a gem of an actress. The storyline was a perfection in itself. Wish I could give it 10 out of 5 stars

  • Apr 01, 2011

    not really my kind of movie...but a very nice acting by miss maclaine

    not really my kind of movie...but a very nice acting by miss maclaine

  • Sep 25, 2010

    Well made but just not my cup of herbal tea

    Well made but just not my cup of herbal tea

  • Apr 04, 2010

    Loved it! I mean, a little cheese, but for 1988!

    Loved it! I mean, a little cheese, but for 1988!

  • Jan 23, 2010

    Before Bend it Like Beckham there was Madame Sousatzka and I prefer this one much better. This is all about being a mother and resigning to see your beloved son fleeing 'away ("you're best creation" as it is said in the film). And it is all about Shirley MacLaine who is wonderfully alive as the old russian lady teaching the young bengali prodige, both immigrants in the 1980's London.

    Before Bend it Like Beckham there was Madame Sousatzka and I prefer this one much better. This is all about being a mother and resigning to see your beloved son fleeing 'away ("you're best creation" as it is said in the film). And it is all about Shirley MacLaine who is wonderfully alive as the old russian lady teaching the young bengali prodige, both immigrants in the 1980's London.

  • Dec 21, 2008

    MacLaine's funny, clever and wondrous to behold, and she carries Madame Sousatzka to relative heights that might not readily seem warranted by the script, which is composed of elements that seem overly familiar.

    MacLaine's funny, clever and wondrous to behold, and she carries Madame Sousatzka to relative heights that might not readily seem warranted by the script, which is composed of elements that seem overly familiar.

  • Nov 26, 2008

    Top favourite movie!

    Top favourite movie!