14 January 2013

Music of the Heart (starring Meryl Streep)

It's nearly four years since we first saw the film 'Music of the Heart', which we liked very much indeed. So when some friends said they would like to watch it, we were more than happy to see it again.

Meryl Streep stars in this very moving film as Roberta, a newly separated mother of two. Needing to support her sons Nick and Lexi, and also needing something to live for, se applies for a job teaching violin at an inner city school.

This film is based on a true story, as is briefly explained in an epilogue. Much of the film follows Roberta's early attempts to help impoverished, struggling students to care about music, to work at their playing, and often to achieve something beyond their wildest dreams. She has an abrasive style which offends some parents, but which the students find refreshing and oddly helpful. She comes across prejudice, aggression, and sometimes laziness; at first she finds it difficult to adjust to the very different lifestyle and families that she meets. But gradually, over the years, many students find her classes inspirational and fulfilling.

Ten years after Roberta is first accepted as a substitute teacher, a blow falls: her music class no longer has funding. In the exciting final part of the story, Roberta - aided by many devoted friends - decides to fight this decision and raise funds herself. It's a mesmerising story, extremely well done (no surprise there, with Meryl Streep starring, but the whole cast is brilliant), and really quite moving in places. Even knowing what was coming, I enjoyed it very much indeed.

PG rated in both the US and UK, due to a little bad language, and some sexual implications, although nothing explicit is shown. Probably not very interesting to anyone under the age of about 10 or 11 unless they happen to be interested in violins.

Highly recommended.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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