Music of the Heart


Music of the Heart
Music of the Heart
Directed by Wes Craven
Produced by Susan Kaplan
Written by Pamela Gray
Starring Meryl Streep
Angela Bassett
Aidan Quinn
Gloria Estefan
Cloris Leachman
Jane Leeves
Kieran Culkin
Charlie Hofheimer
Music by Mason Daring
Cinematography Peter Deming
Editing by Gregg Featherman
Patrick Lussier
Release date(s) October 29, 1999 (1999-10-29)
Running time 124 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $27 million
Box office $14,859,394

Music of the Heart is a 1999 dramatic film. This film was produced by Craven-Maddalena Films and Miramax Films, and distributed by Buena Vista Distribution.

The film stars Meryl Streep, Aidan Quinn, Gloria Estefan, and Angela Bassett. It was director Wes Craven's only foray outside of the horror/thriller genre aside from his contribution to the multifaceted and directorially diverse Paris, je t'aime. It was also his only film to get nominated at the Academy Awards. Wes Craven is known for directing the horror films A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes and the Scream series.

Contents

Background

Madonna was originally signed to play the role of Roberta Guaspari, but left the project before filming began, citing "creative differences" with Wes Craven. She had already studied for many months to play the violin.

Streep learned to play Double Violin Concerto (Bach) for the film.

Storyline

Inspired by the true story of the Opus 118 Harlem School of Music and 'Small Wonders', a 1996 documentary about the school, the film opens with violinist Roberta having been deserted by her US Navy husband and feeling devastated, almost suicidal. Encouraged by her mother, she attempts to rebuild her life and a friend from student days recommends her to the head teacher of a school in the tough New York area of East Harlem. Despite a degree in music education, she has little experience in actual music teaching, but she's taken on as a substitute violin teacher. With a combination of toughness and determination, she inspires a group of kids, and their initially skeptical parents. The program slowly develops and attracts publicity.

Ten years later, the string program is still running successfully at three schools, but suddenly the school budget is cut and Roberta is out of a job. Determined to fight the cuts, she enlists the support of former pupils, parents and teachers and plans a grand fund-raising concert, 'Fiddlefest', to raise money so that the program can continue. But with a few weeks to go and all participants furiously rehearsing, they lose the venue. Fortunately, the husband of a publicist friend is a violinist in the Guarneri Quartet, and he enlists the support of other well-known musicians, including Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman. They arrange for the concert to be mounted at Carnegie Hall.

Other famous musicians join in the performance, which is a resounding success.

The film's end credits declare that the Opus 118 program is still running successfully. They also report that the school's funding was restored during the making of the film.

Awards and nominations

Streep received nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her lead performance.[1]

The film's theme song, "Music Of My Heart", scored songwriter Diane Warren a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and a Grammy Award nomination for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.[1]

The film marked the screen debut of singer Gloria Estefan.[2]

Critical reception

The film got mixed reviews but with a positive trend. Most critics applauded Meryl Streep's portrayal of Roberta Guaspari. The film had a 62% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes.[3] Critic Eleanor Ringel Gillespie of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution concluded that "There are more challenging movies around. More original ones, too. But "Music of the Heart" gets the job done, efficiently and entertainingly."[4] Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four and wrote that "Meryl Streep is known for her mastery of accents; she may be the most versatile speaker in the movies. Here you might think she has no accent, unless you've heard her real speaking voice; then you realize that Guaspari's speaking style is no less a particular achievement than Streep's other accents. This is not Streep's voice, but someone else's - with a certain flat quality, as if later education and refinement came after a somewhat unsophisticated childhood."[5] Steve Rosen said that "The key to Meryl Streep's fine performance is that she makes Guaspari unheroically ordinary. Ultimately that makes her even more extraordinary." [6]

Soundtrack album track listing

  1. "Music of My Heart" - Gloria Estefan and *NSYNC (4:32)
  2. "Baila" - Jennifer Lopez (3:54)
  3. "Turn the Page" - Aaliyah (4:16)
  4. "Groove With Me Tonight (Pablo Flores English Radio Version)" - Menudo (4:37)
  5. "Seventeen" - Tre O (3:48)
  6. "One Night with You" - C Note (5:04)
  7. "Do Something (Organized Noize Mix)" - Macy Gray (3:53)
  8. "Revancha de Amor" - Gizelle d'Cole (4:06)
  9. "Nothing Else" - Julio Iglesias, Jr. (4:23)
  10. "Love Will Find You" - Jaci Velasquez (4:34)
  11. "Music of My Heart" (Pablo Flores Remix) - Gloria Estefan and *NSYNC (4:23)
  12. "Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins" - Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell (3:56)

Box office

The film opened at #5 at the North American box office making $3.6 million USD in its opening weekend.

References

External links


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