MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

SHINE tells the true story of David Helfgott (Geoffrey Rush/Noah Taylor), a child prodigy and musical genius. Driven by his stern father (Armin Meuller-Stahl), a Holocaust survivor, David is taught that winning is everything. But when he wins an invitation to a school in America, his father will not let him go. To his father, David's leaving means the break up of family, just like the Holocaust broke families apart. David finally breaks away to attend the Royal College of Music in London on a scholarship. Taught by Cecil (John Gielgud), he plays the most difficult piano piece, Rachmaninov's 3rd Concerto, in a contest. At the end of a brilliant performance, David collapses. He spends the next few years in mental hospitals until a volunteer learns who he is and helps him adjust to the outside world. Playing piano at a bar leads him back to the musical world and introduces him to his future wife, Gillian (Lynn Redgrave). This triumphant story of overcoming with the power of music will delight audiences, especially music lovers.

It's refreshing to see a film with almost no offensive elements. After his breakdown, David speaks in an almost continuous ramble, which is free of offending words, frequently referring to music and his father's comments. Violence is also limited to a couple of beatings by his father, once for defecating in the bathtub, another when he wants to leave for London. David's one vice seems to be cigarettes; he's shown constantly smoking, even while jogging in the rain. He also forgets to wear his pants, so male rear nudity is seen a few times. Gillian practices astrology and references to guiding stars are made. There is a short scene of their wedding night sex with brief breast nudity. He also touches her breast at the end of his comeback concert. SHINE is a welcome gift of music this season, although it's not without flaws.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
New Line Cinema, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, New York, NY 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Once, mild

Obscene Language: Once, s-word

Profanity: Once, exclamatory

Violence: Few times - Moderate (father strikes David with wet towel, father strikes David with hands)

Sex: Once - married couple with brief female breast nudity

Nudity: Few times - male rear nudity, female breast nudity; near nudity, with scantily clad dancers in bar

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Man touches woman's breast

Drugs: Cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking in bar

Other: Astrology encouraged, father says religion is nonsense but honors traditions (bar mitzvah)

Running Time: 106 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens, adults, music lovers

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.