Immortal Beloved
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -2

When Beethoven (Gary Oldman) dies, his secretary, Anton Schindler (Jeroen Krabbe') discovers a letter addressed to MY IMMORTAL BELOVED. With it is a note that all his music and estate go to her. Schindler sets out to find the woman Beethoven loved. At the hotel addressed on the envelope, the clerk tells about a mysterious woman who waited for Beethoven, then left before he arrived. The signature in the register is illegible, but Schindler takes it for comparison. He calls on Countess Julia (Valeria Golino), a student of Beethoven's whom he had proposed to, and then visits the Countess Anna (Isabella Rossellini) who housed Beethoven for a time. Though neither ladies' signature matches the register, Schindler learns about the death of Beethoven's brother and the custody fight with his brother's wife, Johanna (Johanna Ter Steege) for his nephew. Anna tells Schindler that the answer has been before him all the time. This thought-provoking look into the life of the deaf composer puts some meaning behind his beautiful music; an enjoyable story with a symphonic feast for the ears.

Ludwig von Beethoven's music was considered too passionate for polite concerts, but his music reflected his own passions. He was also accused of a violent temper, partially due to frustration over his deafness. Beethoven is shown breaking a window and throwing a chair through it, but his anger is not directed at anyone. In Julia's tale, there are a few instances of breast nudity and sex is implied twice. Almost full frontal nudity, male and female, occurs when Beethoven yanks the bedcovers from his brother and Johanna. Julia is raped by a Napoleonic soldier who also cuts her throat, but she survives. Napoleon's cannons firing on Vienna also kill Anna's son. When his nephew leaves, Beethoven drags him from a pub by the ear, and slaps him another time. In a flashback, Ludwig is hit by his father, which may have led to his deafness. His nephew attempts suicide with a gun, but fails. Because of objectional elements, we can't recommend this movie, but the soundtrack is outstanding.

Preview Reviewer: Paul R. Bicking
Distributor: Columbia Pictures,10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA, 90232

Crude Language: Several (7) times - Mild 1, Moderate 6
Obscene Language: Once (s-word)
Profanity: None
Violence: Several times - Moderate (window broken; pushing and shoving; woman raped and throat cut; child caught in explosion; man spits up blood; child hit, man slapped; attempted suicide with gun to head; children kick and taunt man.
Sexual Intercourse: Implied twice (couple in bedroom)
Nudity: Few times - female breast nudity, male & female obscured frontal; Near nudity - low cut dresses
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Once (man's hand on woman's breast)
Drug Abuse: Social drinking in pub; alcohol used before suicide attempt
Other: Adultery implied
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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