I know some of you faithful readers have read some of my more recent writing about movies and what I like when. Well, I think I can finally say that I’ve found a movie that I can call my favorite. The others are all favorites but this one tops all of them, because it touches me in any emotion.
Just think for a minute. A story about a man who takes up teaching, even though he’d rather be composing and discovers that teaching is his passion. He certainly makes a number of pretty serious mistakes during his life but, when those mistakes are called to his attention, when he really sees them, he backtracks, “repents” if you will, and begins afresh. He goes from being one of the single most boring teachers, to being one of the most fun. At the end, when the principal decides to cut the arts out of the budget, Mr Holland is certain that he won’t be missed. Then, they bring him into the auditorium and we get to see many of the students that were showcased through the years and then, last of all, they ask him to direct a combined orchestra in the first performance of the symphony he’s been writing all this time. The best part is how he weeps at the realization that they are doing this for and in appreciation of him. I always cry at that point and usually keep crying right through “The American Symphony” until the end of the movie. Being the daughter of a teacher, I actually sympathize with Mr. Holland throughout the picture as they delineate the turning points in his life. I’ve never been that big a fan of Richard Dreyfuss but, man oh man, that is a good movie and he brought lots of heart to the character of Mr. Holland.
Anyway, that’s why I love “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” Of course, how typical. The one movie that I love most is one of the movies that hasn’t made our collection, yet. 🙂