Mr. Holland's Opus Reviews
The film is so well done, and it centers around his one and only child who was deaf and his struggles with his father for understanding music. A few battles with the school system ensue, the film is a beautiful 2 and a half hours that never feels dragged on and and intelligently goes through each decade of Mr. Holland's career starting in the '60s and ending at the age of 60 being forced into retirement during the year of the film, 1995.
Throughout there are plenty of cheesy moments played up to make us cry, but Richard Dreyfuss (at his best here) sells it all so well that the moments work. Sure some teenagers look a little old (including Terrence Howard), the vice principal (William H. Macy) is a straw-man asshole, and there's the bitter irony of a music teacher's son being deaf, but you can't help but be moved when Dreyfuss signs & sings John Lennon's"Beautiful Boy" to his son in concert. I think there is a value to a maudlin film where a man doesn't get the life he wanted, but still ends up happy. It can feel forced but the sentiment is still very reassuring.
And the performance of Richard Dreyfuss in this movie is nothing short of amazing. How he didn;t get an Oscar for this is beyond me.
There are moments in the movie that stick with you and the great movies have those. For instance during the parade scene when he realizes his son isn't hearing the noise....that stuck with me.
The movie has an interesting predicament. The musician/teacher relies on people hearing his work and the closest person to him being his son can't hear....It's intersting...
Good overly sentimental film.