MusicBiography, Drama

Director: Milos Forman Cast: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice, Simon Callow, Christine Ebersole, Jeffrey Jones, Charles Kay, Kenneth McMillan, Kenny Baker, Cynthia Nixon, Vincent Schiavelli, Douglas Seale, Karl-Heinz Teuber, Rita Zohar

Academy Awards: Best Picture; Best Actor in a Leading Role (F. Murray Abraham); Best Director (Milos Forman); Best Adapted Screenplay (Peter Shaffer); Best Art Direction-Set Decoration; Best Costume Design; Best Sound; Best Makeup

Also Nominated For: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Tom Hulce); Best Cinematography; Best Film Editing

I First Saw In: c. 2009

Synopsis: The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri – now confined to an insane asylum.

Quotables: SALIERI: That was Mozart. That! That giggling, dirty-minded creature I had just seen, crawling on the floor!

And now a Word from the Guise:
I don’t recall my opinion of this film the first time I watched it, but my god Tom Hulce does his level-best to make Mozart the most annoying character in cinema. I would rather listen to a million nails on a chalkboard than listen to his obnoxious laugh. That’s not to say that it’s not a good performance, but my god he’s irritating. F. Murray Abraham is excellent.

What I find most interesting about this film is the hypocrisy. Salieri is furious that God would make Mozart “His vessel”, because Mozart is prideful and childish. Salieri has truly dedicated his life to being God’s vessel, but Mozart barely has to try to produce brilliance. However, what Salieri really wants is fame, and so he is jealous of Mozart, envious of his natural talent. They are both undesirable characters, but they are real.

Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233