F.I.L.M. of the Week (August 28, 2009)

28 08 2009

The F.I.L.M. (First-Rate Independent, Little-Known Movie) of this week is “Music of the Heart.” It was one of my favorites growing up, the first movie I saw at the then brand new Edwards Greenway Palace 24 Theaters in 1999. I occasionally catch it playing on Starz, and it still possesses the magic that enthralled me when I was 7.  The movie features one of the most underrated of Meryl Streep’s 15 Oscar-nominated performances, an emotionally compelling tour de force that connects with the audience on a level that very few ever have.

Roberta Guspari (Streep) is down on her luck.  After her husband runs off her with her best friend, she moves with her two young sons to the turbulent neighborhood of East Harlem in New York.  She starts a violin program in an inner city school, inspiring a love of music among youth who have never been given an opportunity to study it.  At first, it is tough to spark a work ethic among the kids and to convince their parents that the violin is a worthwhile skill to learn.  The program, over time, becomes a great success.  Unfortunately, many years later, budget cuts force the district to fire Roberta and cancel her program.  With help from teachers and parents, she fights for the right for kids to have access to arts education.

“Music of the Heart” is a movie that aims for the heart and hits it dead-on.  Immensely inspirational and uplifting, it provides wholesome entertainment with morals that don’t even fly over the little ones’ heads.  The film forges a deeply sentimental connection with the audience, and it pulls you in for a compelling experience.  It might be a hard find on the rental shelf, but it is worth the search.



One response

29 08 2009

Now I must see “Music of the Heart”..
I’ve been hearing about it for a long time but seeing the clip made me eager.
Keep on doing your BLOG, Marshall.

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