Sloppy composition despite Harris' solid solo

Copying Beethoven

on November 10, 2006 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
Ed Harris isn't the disaster one might expect as an American actor essaying the challenging role of the deaf, mercurial German composer Ludwig van Beethoven in the last years of his tumultuous life. But he's also not enough to lift this biopic into the cinematic stratosphere. [i]Copying Beethoven[/i] details the fictional relationship between Beethoven and Anna Holtz (Diane Kruger), a young composer who is hired to copy Ludwig's messy scrawls onto music sheets and thus render them legible for the performers who will later play his works. Beethoven, not expecting a woman, is dismissive at first but soon comes to depend on Anna, and a deep friendship is born. Harris manages to bring Beethoven to prickly life, and he has some lovely, moving scenes opposite Kruger. But too many dull subplots, notably one concerning Anna's disapproving boyfriend, and director Agnieszka Holland's typically heavy hand, dampen any musical fireworks that the film might have generated. Distributor: MGM
Cast: Ed Harris, Diane Kruger, Matthew Goode and Joe Anderson
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Screenwriters: Stephen J. Rivele & Christopher Wilkinson
Producers: Sidney Kimmel, Michael Taylor, Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson
Genre: Drama
Rating: R for some sexual elements
Running time: 104 min.
Release date: November 10 ltd
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