Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)

I'm a sap. I haven't admitted it in any of these posts, but I'm a weepy cinephile. So, when something strikes a chord in me, it really doesn't matter what I can pick apart about the movie not how sappy, I'm captivated.

The overwhelming message from Mr. Holland's Opus is sacrifice and sacrifice is a powerful subject. In my experience, I have found that whatever dreams or goals I have, if anything stands in their way, they are likely to become more rewarding than whatever goal I had in mind. This film captures many aspects of this with the young temptress, parental and marital responsibilities, time allocation, and sharing your soul.

Technically, this film is a difficult one, with it's main characters aging 30 years, along with the sets and costumes. The episodes pass quickly and are bridged with familiar American archived news footage from 1965 through to 1995.

I can't say that all of the music was that good. I felt a little let down at how "poppish" the soundtrack was. It wasn't horrible, but I just hoped that a film about a music teacher would have very original compositions accompanying it. The period radio singles were fine.

The acting was more than adequate. There were a dozen very emotional scenes and about half of them truly succeeded. Richard Dreyfuss and Glenne Headly did a terrific job of letting the dreams go, staying together and at the same time diverging in their paths.

Of course tears were streaming down my face at the close of the film. To be recognized for the sacrifice one makes helps ease some of the pain that one has accepted in order to serve. I can't help but feel guilty for the times I passed on the pain or inconvenience in order to serve myself and not the other.


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