The Unforgettable One

Posted by M ws On Monday, May 28, 2012 1 comments
Watching movies used to be my favourite past-time before blogging mania hit me in 2008. I have an extensive dvd library and book collection. Whilst I have returned to reading after I decided that staying away from politics and any kind of activism would keep me saner and happier, I have yet to return to watching movies. My younger boy is a more voracious reader than I am for this week itself, he has already read three books - and is finishing the third in Isabel Allende's trilogy while I am still plodding on in Siri Hustvedt's "The Blindfold".

To break the monotony of reading, I listened to some music thanks to fellow blogger Shadower and somehow, my mind wandered to Mr. Holland's Opus.

That movie means a lot to me because it brings together my background in music, career as an educator, struggles and challenges faced and overcome not forgetting the paths that both my boys have taken in their pursuit if musical excellence.

Thanks to YouTube, you can watch the whole movie HERE.

If you only intend to watch ONE movie this year, you HAVE to watch Mr. Holland's Opus!!!
The best clips from the movie that I love are:

An American Symphony - Mr Holland's Opus This is one piece that makes me cry soooo much even though I have watched it so many times!!!!

Rowena's Theme

Someone to Watch Over Me

Play the Sunset I can really connect with this scene and all it means.

Rowena singing the Unfinished Song - The one that makes my hair stand, the one that makes me remember the first time I fell in love decades ago...

According to Wikipedia:

In 1965, Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) is a talented musician and composer who has been relatively successful in the exhausting life of a professional musical performer. However, in an attempt to enjoy more free time with his young wife, Iris (Glenne Headly), and to enable him to compose a piece of orchestral music, the 30-year-old Holland accepts a teaching position.

Unfortunately for Holland, he is soon forced to realize that his position as a music teacher makes him a marginalized figure in the faculty's hierarchy. For instance, he comes face to face with how seriously he is outranked by the high school's football coach (Jay Thomas), who ultimately becomes his best friend. Administrators either dislike him, such as assistant principal Gene Wolters (William H. Macy), or push him relentlessly, such as principal Helen Jacobs (Olympia Dukakis). It is Ms. Jacobs' scolding that helps Holland turn a corner. He entered the teaching profession with a view toward a temporary "gig," running to his car at the end of the day faster than his students could run to theirs. Reluctantly, he begins to see his students as individuals and finds ways to help them excel.

The film marks the passing decades with newsreels about Vietnam -- corresponding to the tragic combat death of one young man that Holland guided through a stint as marching-band drummer -- and the death of John Lennon in 1980. The passage of time and the mysteries of personal growth are a constant underlying theme in this film.

Holland's lack of quality time with Iris becomes problematic when their son, Cole, is diagnosed as deaf. Glenn reacts with hostility to the news that he can never teach the joys of music to his own child. Iris willingly learns American Sign Language to communicate with her son, but Glenn resists. This causes further estrangement within the family.

Through three decades, Mr. Holland is closer to students at John F. Kennedy High School than he is to his own son. At one point in the film, he is briefly tempted by the shining talent of a young female student, who invites him to leave his stressful, unsatisfying life and run off to New York.

He addresses a series of challenges created by people who are either skeptical of—or hostile towards—the idea of musical excellence within the walls of a typical middle-class American high school. He inspires many students, but never has private time for himself or his family, forever delaying the composition of his own orchestral composition. Ultimately, he reaches an age when it is too late to realistically find financial backing or ever have it performed.

In 1995, the adversaries of the Kennedy High music program win a decisive institutional victory. Holland's longtime adversary Wolters, promoted to school principal when Jacobs retires, works with the school board to eliminate music (along with the rest of the fine arts program) in the name of necessary budget cuts, thereby leading to Mr. Holland's ignominious dismissal at the age of 60. Glenn is a realist who realizes that his working life is over. He believes that his former students have mostly forgotten him.

On his final day as a teacher, the despairing Mr. Holland is led to the school auditorium, where his professional life is surprisingly redeemed. Hearing that their beloved teacher is leaving, hundreds of his pupils have secretly returned to the school to celebrate his life.

Mr. Holland's orchestral piece, never before heard in public, has been put before the musicians by his wife and son. One of his most musically challenged students, Gertrude Lang (Alicia Witt (young) /Joanna Gleason (adult)), who has become governor of the state, sits in with her clarinet. Gertrude and the other alumni ask the retiring teacher to serve as their conductor for the premiere performance of Mr. Holland's Opus ("The American Symphony"). A proud Iris and Cole look on, appreciating the affection and respect that Mr. Holland receives.

I confess I am a die-hard Richard Dreyfuss fan and by far, this movie showcases his BEST performance in his acting career!!! And I guess I am the kind who simply loves hopeful and inspirational movies. I just hope that I have been like Mr Holland to help students achieve their dreams. A touching and moving film, Mr Holland's Opus is definitely an uplifting and life-affirming winner that will surely leave you teary-eyed with lumps in your throat.


1 comments to The Unforgettable One

  1. says:

    cin2tan THE only real Tarzan was Johnny Wesmuler whom I've admired for 60 years till NOW ! I am still keeping a VHS tape of 'Tarzan & his mate' in B/W !

    Dear mws/shadower , where can I watch him in DVD , PLEASE !?

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