Shine - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Shine Reviews

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½ March 19, 2016
Full commitment from Geoffrey Rush unfortunately can't save Shine from an emotional distant tone that is shadowed by other films of the same genre resulting in a Oscar-baiting cliché.
March 19, 2016
Sensationalist fabrications. Damaging and annoying.
November 26, 2015
Despite the high ratings It has, didn't enjoy it and was bored all the way through.
½ November 23, 2015
A brilliantly acted, emotionally stirring portrait of a man who has let pressure, determination and the will to win take over and almost destroy his life. Powered largely by 2 stellar performances by Geoffrey Rush and Armin Mueller-Stahl, Shine takes us through development, ascent, descent and redemption without undue sentimentality or insulting the audience. Whether or not the film is historically accurate, which has been fervently debated, the story is still compelling and emotionally driven. Rush instils his character with heart, likeability and a fair amount of tragedy, while Mueller-Stahl gives us a man who is almost blinded by the desire to have his son succeed, to the point of frightening and even hurting his family, but doesn't do so out of maliciousness or cruelty, and has his share of genuinely heartfelt moments. The stirring soundtrack compliments the film beautifully, and the recurring motif of water emphasises our heroes feeling of floating through life with almost no anchor to secure him. A must-see for any lovers of music, classical or not.
½ August 28, 2015
it packs a punch without resorting to melodrama and Rush is excellent, bursting with frenetic energy, though Stahl arguably is even better
May 2, 2015
Emotive real live story of the forge,downfall and rebirth of a musician genius.Shall not miss it
April 28, 2015
Long and boring until Geoffrey Rush gets on screen properly, then we have a masterful actor in his most brilliant role to date.
January 19, 2015
Ovogodisnji filmovi koji su nominirani za Oscara posveceni su nevjerojatnim genijalnim osobama od matematicara Alana Turinga, velikog Stephena Hawkinga, i tako veceras pogledao sam na televiziji sjajni film iz 1996 Shine biografiju velikog australskog pijanista Davida Helfgotta u izvedbi nevjerojatnog Geoffreya Rusha. Film sam naime prvi puta pogledao 1996 godine u srednjoj skoli na satu povijesti glazbe, gdje smo tada nakon odgledanog filma mi mladi ljudi raspravljali koja bi zena mogla voljeti i zivjeti s takvim cudakom kakav je David.
Da se vratim malo na pocetak I da kazem nekoliko rijeci o cemu se zapravo u filmu radi za mlade generacije koji film nisu gledali.
David Helfgott nadareni je djecak, pijanist, u cijem odgoju glavnu rijec vodi autoritativni otac. Shvatio je da je David najdarovitiji od sve njegove djece. David dozivljava enorman uspjeh te ga zele poslati na studij u inozenstvo, na londonski konzervatorij. David tamo upoznaje velikog ucitelja koji ga primi, no David dozivljava nervni slom I vraca se u Australiju gdje zavrsava u raznim mentalnim ustanovama. Helfgottovi ucitelji na kraljevskoj akademiji istaknuli su ga kao cistog genija .
Nakon toliko godina od posljednjeg gledanja ovog genijalnog filma tvrdnja u cijelome ovome filmu nije da se Helffgott smatra jednim od najboljih pijanista nego u tome da mu je ljubav njegove supruge pomogla da se uspjesno oporavi od dugotrajne borbe s mentalnom bolescu kako bi mogao ponovno zasvirati pred publikom. Ljudska dusa je neshvacena i uvijek ce biti enigma jer je nevidljiva, a ponasanje genijalnog uma mora imati prihvacanje pa tako I razumijevanje svih ostalih zato i je genijalan kako i sam David kaze 'nema takve glazbe kakvu on cuje u svojoj glavi' Jedan od najboljih glazbenih filmova po meni jer se radi o neshvacenosti a umjetnost nije umjetnost ako je svima shvacena. Cista petica.
½ August 11, 2014
The film which famously won Geoffreyt Rush the Academy Award for Best Actor, I had to see Shine to witness a landmark film in Australian cinema.

I've seen so many biopics in my life that the formula has grown tiring for me, and Shine has many elements of such formula in its story. Whiel part of its style allows it to transcend the usual limitations, most of the time it follows the same basic way of storytelling and sense of fictionalising reality by including elements solely for the dramatic liberty. One of the most common criticisms of Shine is the way that it fictionalises the relationship between David Helfgott with his father Peter Helfgott whom the film depicts as being a tyrannical brute. While this particular plot element is a very powerful and striking dramatic aspect of the story, the reality ot it has been widely disputed and it makes it difficult to be sure of what is and isn't true in the story. But then again, the filmmakers did go through extensive effort to find this information and have argued that it is true, so there is really no way to tell for sure what happened in the young life of David Helfgott. But still, in terms of drama, this proves effective and entertaining.
One element of the film that gives me a mixed response is what specifically it focuses on in regards to David Helfgott's life. I appreciate the way that it goes into so much focus about him developing as a child because that shows how he progresses as a human being into the magnificent musical artist that he is, but its a problem because that means that Geoffrey Rush receives little screen time. He has about four minutes of screen time during the first hour of of the film, and he doesn't officially enter until the one hour mark has been passed. So despite playing the lead in the film, he only receives so much screen time which is approximately less than the actor who portrays the younger David Helfgott, Noah Taylor. The fact is that Geoffrey Rush is magnificent in Shine but he only receives less than about 50% of screentime and so he isn't precisely the lead actor to the extent that I had expected.
The only other issue is that the tone of the film is a bit flawed. There is constantly a level of optimism in the theme which means that there is only a certain extent to which the drama can flourish, and in the second half of the film everything is so cheerful that the drama feels like it has subsided. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the passionate lighthearted experience, but as a film I just feel like it comes up short with handling drama as much as it could have. But then again, I guess that's just part of the style of the film having its focus all from the perspective of David Helgoff's mind.
But despite the somewhat conventional storytelling in the film and the fact that Geoffrey Rush does not really come in until halfway through, Shine proves to be a really entertaining film.
The visual depiction of everything was magnificent. It takes viewers a while to realise what it is actually doing becauusethe style of everything is rather subtle in certain retrospects. With cleverly placed cinematography, Shine ends up visually great. It follows a somewhat standard style during a lto of the scenes, but during the ones where the atmosphere grows more intense and focuses on how it depicts the mind of Dadiv Helgoff, this is where it becomes understanding. This can be seen as allegorical becasuse the style of the film is conventional when it depicts all the other characters but intense and artistic when focusing on David Helfgott. By that I mean that it implies most people in the world are conventional thinkers but David Helfgott is off in his own world, and considering that his state of psychology led to a mental breakdown and spending time in mental institutions. Visually, Shine has some really great moments thanks to the fine cinematography style of the film and how it is edited at a very timely pace, and so the Academy Award nominated direction of Scott Hicks is terrific.
And importantly, thanks in part to the strength of Jan Sardi's Academy Award nominated screenplay, the acting in Shine comes out excellently and transcends the narrative flaws of the film by making the tale seem so organic.
Geoffrey Rush made such an impact that shortly after he entered the screen just over an hour into the film that I completely forgot he had been essentially absent from the spotlight for the first part of the film. Geoffrey Rush was so perfectly on par in the role of David Helfgott that there is no denying the deserving recognition of both the Academy Award for Best Actor and Golden Globe in the same category. Geoffrey Rush is spot on in the role of David Helfgott because his line delivery is so stuck into the complex mentality of David Helgoff that he sinks so deeply into the character and never breaks free of it. He embodies the man with all the complex mentality excellently because he keeps himself physically isolated inside the mind of the character and expresses his own way of thinking with extremely quick line delivery and impulsive physical actions. Geoffrey Rush loses himself in the mind of another character but maintains his wisdom as an actors so that the actions of the characters seem organic instead of forced, and it is just an exceptional performance. Geoffrey Rush makes David Helfgott a compelling character who is very easy to sympathise for, and he plays the piano with hands of a true artist which shows off his versatile skills, transcended mostly by his incredible skills as an actor. Geoffrey Rush is just perfect in Shine.
Noah Taylor does an exceptional job as well because he plays the part of David Helfgott with the same kind of spirit and natural acting skill that Geoffrey Rush uses. He puts a lot of charismatic young spirit into the part exceptionally well and takes on the role with serious passion which is very skilfully exectuted. Like Hugh O'Conor in the role of young Christy Brown in My Left Foot, Noah Taylor faces the challenge of playing a younger version of a role that would win another actor an Academy Award. But he just nails it with perfection and compellign spirit which is so admirable. Noah Taylor does an amazing job in the role of young David Helgoff and makes the film a much better experience than it already was.
Although the extent of actual realism surrounding his character is ambiguous, Armim Mueller-Stahl does a powerful job in his performance as Peter Helfgott because of the intensity in his chemistry with Noah Taylor. He is so fearlessly dedicated to striking an angry passion in the part that it makes a seriously powerful impact on the story. Armim Mueller-Stahl delivers his lines with raw emotional power and injects fierce phsyicality into the role as well so that he engages emotional strength to match the phsyical aspect of his performance, and his supporting performance is just excellent.
Lynn Redgrave does her part as well.

So despite some narrative flaws and an inconsistent tone, Shine is a visually stylish tale which boasts an exceptional performance from Geoffrey Rush at his true high point.
½ May 30, 2014
It's based on a true story. You can enjoy piano music played by David Helfgott himself. Geoffrey Rush won for Best Actor of Oscar.
½ May 1, 2014
The whole teen years of Rush's character dragged on and on to the point that Rush's "Lead" acting role was a questionable title, but as always Rush is wonderful and so are the supporting cast members most notably Noah Taylor
April 28, 2014
Hmm. This hasn't aged as well as I'd hoped.
½ April 11, 2014
Agh really!? I was expecting a lot more from this based on Oscar nominations and all the rave reviews. Possibly not my kind of movie or maybe I was missing something but I didn't enjoy this at all and was bored throughout. I actually came back here to Flixster to check that I was watching the same movie as everyone else. Yup I was. Geoffrey Rush does do a fine job as Australian piano prodigist David Helfgott but honestly I was more impressed by Armin Mueller Stahl as his abusive, insecure father and Noah Taylor as adolescent David, who portrays the moment of his mental breakdown after preforming Rachmaninoff's technically demanding Piano Concerto No. 3. Now that was a good scene even if it's left a little unclear as to why and what happened directly afterwards. 04.05.14
March 30, 2014
This is an excellent movie from start to finish. Tells the story of David Helfgott a child prodigy pianist and His relationship with his overbearing father. With his father rejecting him and the pressures of mastering the hardest ever piece written for piano Rachmaninov Concerto No.3 shows David having nervous breakdown and developing a mental health illness. However through the love of one women and the power of music helps David to re enter the world and shows his musical gift back to the world. I think what makes this story so powerful is that the film is based on true events. I recommend watching this film plus the soundtrack is outstanding. (30.03.14)
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ March 28, 2014
"And so we shine while this moment slips away from us, shine while the skies are turning gray!" Wow, it's interesting how I'm such an anti-modernist music buff I am, and I just made a reference to a song that is way too new, when there are way too many other songs of the same name, although I can at least take comfort in the fact that most people don't know that "Shine", let alone when it came out. I would also take comfort in the fact that it's by Transatlantic, seeing as how I actually love Transatlantic, but unless you're willing to wait on that awesome guitar solo by Roine Stolt, that particular track is way too non-prog to justify having a seven-and-a-half-minute runtime and, well, being a vehicle for the band's vocal "abilities". Yeah, Neal Morse should just stick to playing the keyboards, although I can't say that he'd be nearly as good as David Helfgott would be if he suddenly went prog rock for some reason, something that might actually happened, because as this film will tell you, the man sure can change his mind all of a sudden, and by mind, I mean mental stability. Man, he was a loony there for a while, but hey, on top of piano, he was interested in philosophy, and I can tell you from experience that philosophy really does shake your sanity... and apparently wears down the youth. I'm sorry, but I'm utterly fascinated by the fact that this was Geoffrey Rush's first of many big breaks, and he still looked old, but by no means does that make him any less revelatory. Sorry, folks, but Rush does indeed "shine" here, but the rest of the film, well, not so much, and for a number of reasons.

Ambitiously aiming to summarize the life and struggles of the intriguing, but troubled David Helfgott, this film might be able to fulfill its intentions pretty comfortably within a two-hour runtime, but it doesn't exactly feel all that assured in its uneven pacing, which undercooks certain aspects and drags along others, until crafting a questionable storytelling formula so tight that ends up being repetitious, in addition to lacking in extensive depth. Before too long, the film becomes aimless in its unrealized momentum, meandering along a worthy path that would compel much more thoroughly, in spite of the sloppy pacing, if it wasn't so blasted familiar. If the film is nothing else, it is near-hopelessly formulaic as a 1990s biopic, not just in its structure, but in its subject matter, following a worthy, but still arguably overly traditional story of a man's rise from misfortune to respect and eventual fall from grace and stability, and doing hardly anything to freshen up its interpretation. There's almost a certain laziness to the film's being just so formulaic, and when storytelling works to try harder, it tries a touch too hard, with almost obvious dramatic visuals and atmospherics, as well as a certain thinness to dramatic characterization, which take the potential subtlety and grace of this drama and shake it, resulting in subtlety issues that, while rarely glaring, still stand, outweighing inspiration with simple ambition. The film has a tendency to try too hard at times, and yet, on the whole, it all comes back to the opposite side of the tracks: laziness, or at least a sense of laziness, deriving from a directorial atmosphere by Scott Hicks that feels too dry to carry all that much bite, which is certainly an issue when you look at what the kick ought to overshadow. Unevenly paced, conventional and sometimes unsubtle, this drama cannot afford to have those cold spells, which are never dull, and are compensated for enough through genuine heart for the final product to border on rewarding, yet tame the promising project enough for the final product to fall, or rather, limp well short of its potential. Regardless, the film keeps you going, at times pretty thoroughly, meeting plenty of cold spells with heart, even within the musical department.

Almost underexploring the musical abilities that made David Helfgott a recognizable enough name for his conflicts to be relevant, this film surprisingly doesn't play up its classical soundtrack all that much, but when it does, while you're likely to recognize the arrangements, they remain thoroughly enjoyable by their own right, and even in the tonal context of this drama. Still, like I said, there's almost a certain underexploration of the musical themes that you'd figure would be prominent in a biopic of this subject matter, and the reason for that is because this story is by no means simply about a musician's career, being more focused on a musician's struggle, both growing up and growing into madness, resulting in a layered dramatic story which, despite its familiarity, it nothing less than worthy. The execution of the story concept is questionable, but in a lot of ways, it too is worthy, with Jan Sardi delivering on a script that may not exactly be realized in its structure, in terms of both pacing and originality, or in its dramatic depth, yet still has plenty of wit to its lighter moments of relief, as well as a healthy degree of heart to the heavier aspects, at least on paper. When it comes to Scott Hicks' directorial interpretation of, not simply of solid subject matter, but of a decent script that delivers on dramatic effectiveness more often than not, as I've said, a certain dryness really makes it hard to deny the other flaws in storytelling, and yet, the final product is rarely especially bland in its coldness, as Hicks sustains an adequate degree of momentum through tight plays on tight spots in writing, punctuated by an orchestration of musical atmosphere, if not haunting quietness that is piercing. Moments of considerable resonance are rare, but they still stand, as surely as moments of fair compellingness stand throughout the film, which still has too many slow spells for comfort, although endears through and through, even though the offscreen performances don't exactly compel through and through. When inspiration feels lacking in storytelling, the performances make up for it, with standout portrayals including Armin Mueller-Stahl as Helfgott's overbearing father, and Noah Taylor, whose understandably career-igniting portrayal a young and passionate, yet still unstable young Helfgott is still not quite as revelatory as Geoffrey Rush's Oscar-winning portrayal of an older, even more unstable Helfgott, whose unnerving eccentricities and emotional sensitivity are nailed with transformative commitment by Rush. It's a long while before Rush is really used, but when that time comes, he's a powerhouse who drives the final product's most effective moments, in between which remains enough heart to the portrayal of a worthy talent to charm and engage serviceably, if improvably.

Once the light has faded, the momentum of the drama is weakened too much by unevenly paced, formulaic, sometimes unsubtle, and often even dry storytelling for the final product to reward, but there's enough taste to the soundtrack, heart to the script and direction, power to the performances, - at least those by Armin Mueller-Stahl, Noah Taylor and the show-stealing Geoffrey Rush - and, of course, value to the subject matter to secure Scott Hicks' "Shine" as a decent and often compelling, if ultimately underwhelming portrait on the sensitivity of a genius' mentality.

2.75/5 - Decent
March 7, 2014
I couldnt wait to rush to the ending
March 2, 2014
I'm in awe at how well this movie was made! Congrats to Geoffrey Rush for such a spectacular performance and earning an Oscar!
½ January 16, 2014
one of my all time favourite movies...
December 28, 2013
"Shine" is a powerhouse Australian drama that shines a light on the unfortunate life of David Helfgott, played by Geoffrey Rush in an Oscar winning turn.

The script itself isn't particularly sound, and the film relies heavily on the on-screen talent, including Rush, Noah Taylor, Armin Mueller-Stahl and John Gieguld.

While Rush is undeniably excellent in his role, it's the scene's between a teenaged Helfgott (Taylor) and his over-bearing father (Mueller-Stahl) that makes this film work on an emotional level. Well, that and the way that the film makes the average punter care about Romantic piano music.

A solid biopic.
December 11, 2013
Absolutely beautiful
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