Acclaimed star Richard Dreyfuss gives the performance of a lifetime (1995 Academy Award(R)-nominee, Best Actor -- MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS) in this uplifting hit cheered by audiences everywhere! Glenn Holland (Dreyfuss) is a pas... more »sionate musician who dreams of composing one truly memorable piece of music. But reality intrudes when he reluctantly accepts a "day job" as a high school music teacher to support his family. In time, however, Mr. Holland realizes that his real passion is teaching, and his legacy is the generations of young people he inspires. Also featuring Glenne Headly (BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS) and Olympia Dukakis (MAFIA!) -- you're sure to find this electrifying motion picture both entertaining ... and unforgettable!« less
"Recent showing of "Music of My Heart" starring Merryl Strepp as a substitute teacher striving to sustain a violin program for low-income kids in New York City reminds me of this all-time favorite classic released back in 1996. The bottom line is love.Situated in Oregon in the fall of 1964, Glen Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) took up a job as a high school music teacher as his wife became pregant. Holland, now shouldered with added responsibility as a soon-to-be father, a composer, and a teacher, faced the immediate challenge of working with a diverse group of students: the naturally talented, the rebellious, and the physically impaired. This is a movie about love and love of music. Glenn Holland is the central figure who strives to love his students and family through his devotion to music. Born deaf-toned, the dream of teaching his own son to become an eminent violinist inevitably bursts with much frustration. Glenn Holland is not perfect; in fact, interactions with his students through failures and triumphs gradually refine him to be a loving and well-respected man. Love propels him to reconcile his frustration for his son and breaks the ice in his relationship with his wife. For over 30 years, this young composer has taught generations of students not only about music, but love, respect, faith, and confidence. The final reunion of his students features orchestration of "American Symphony" to pay the highest tribute to this self-sacrificing teacher.This is a movie that will move every soul and make everyone's tears roll down the cheek. It's all about love, and love moves. After 4 years since I first watched the premiere, it still touches my heart and brings tears to my eyes when I see it again on my flight to Asia."
Performance of a lifetime for Richard Dreyfus
Peggy Vincent | Oakland, CA | 11/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yeah, it's a little overblown and melodramatic, but it's also genuine, beautifully acted, and inspiring. Dreyfus is a music teacher at a local high school. He fancies himself a composer, and he is, but circumstances and fate keep him from devoting himself full time to that pursuit: his wife's unexpected pregnancy and the fact that the child born of that pregnancy is deaf. The end is predictably a rousing and emotional tearjerker - but still, it works just fine."
Warm Plot, Rich Production
Franklin Howell | Dallas, TX USA | 01/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The quality of Mr. Holland's Opus spreads evenly throughout its plot, its message, and its marvelous appreciation of music and the arts. In fact, this movie delivers both definition and demonstration of music appreciation as a whole, absent of selective bias. Devoid of senseless killings, violence, or notable language, Opus is a family movie without the corny overtones. For many it's a tearjerker.But Mr. Holland's Opus unfolds an issue. It is a simple plea for an increase in music appreciation among society--particularly our young people. Mr. Holland's career is pressured more and more by the gradual, yet perpetual governmental cuts in school funding for the arts amid the US. In sharp contrast, the movie makes it clear that support for the sports programs in public schools remain firm and solid. Careful to avoid cursing this predicament or hurling insults toward society, this message is rather Hollywood's way of calmly saying, "Take a look," using the common life of an otherwise forgotten music teacher. The central beauty of the movie is in the character of Mr. Holland himself. He is an ardent yet sensible lover of music. The viewer will find no arrogance or snootiness in Mr. Holland. It's not his style. Instead, Holland's concern for the progressive loss of interest in the arts is voiced simply, directly, and peacefully. The movie delivers a powerful message through ordeals within his family. Struggling with the hardships of common fate (and some not so common), Holland learns new depths of love and companionship from both his wife and son. He is a man of emotions like anyone else. He looses his temper on occasions. But Mr. Holland is always in control of himself. He deals with pressures to the best of his ability as they occur. Mr. Holland is a believable person. The viewer is free to place him into society with the rest of the world and to walk in his shoes for a spell. A superb job from the entire cast of characters, the journey is emotionally rewarding."
My Favorite Movie!
Peggy Vincent | 12/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've seen a lot of classic films over my lifetime, but there was something about this movie that made it stand above the rest. Perhaps it was the moving story about a composer who turns to teaching in a high school to pay the bills, but winds up staying there for 30 years through a series of personal tragedies and triumphs. Maybe it was the spectacular cast that includes Richard Dreyfuss in an Oscar nominated turn as the title character, Glenne Headley as his loyal wife, Jay Thomas as his trusted friend, and Olympia Dukakis as the boss he hates and loves. It might have been the realistic way it portrays high school life over thirty years, or the wonderful use of music from different periods to add to the story, or even the way it doesn't stay away from sensitive issues in our world (death, war, the deaf, and the struggles of balancing work and family are all talked about). However, I feel the reason I love this movie so much is because of the realistic way it depicts a man's contributions to the world. The movie shows Glen Holland not as a saint, but as a flawed man who loved music deeply, and managed to pass on his love to some other children. It doesn't seem like much, but as we see in the teary final scene, the small things that Glen Holland did, in their own little way, made the world a better place."
One of My Favorite Movies
Ren | Knoxville, TN United States | 06/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie never ceases to amaze me. The plot is unique, the acting is superb, and the conflicts and resolutions are exceptional.
Richard Dreyfuss plays a musician named Glen Holland who becomes a music teacher in 1965 in order to make a decent living for his wife, who becomes pregnant. He goes against his will, and he really hates the job at first because his style is too dry and the students were unresponsive. There was simply no connection between the teacher and the students. However, Dreyfuss develops a teaching style built around how music can change one's life. And this movie is about how each and every one of his students' lives were touched by Dreyfuss and his passion for music.
However, it is not all peaches and cream. There are some very sad aspects to this movie. Mr. Holland's first and only son is born deaf, which must was disappointing and heartbreaking for such a music fan as Mr. Holland. Mr. Holland is faced with the challenge of teaching music to his deaf son. I'm not going to give away the ending, but one moving part of this movieis the fact that even Mr. Holland's deaf son can understand the power of musicians like John Lennon.
This movie is truly moving and has a powerful message regarding musics profound influence. I recommend this movie to everybody; it is a fine piece of work."