Monday, March 21, 2011


Fredi M. Murer, Switzerland, 2006 (9.0*)
One of the more unique stories I've seen about a child music prodigy, in this case a young boy named Vitus von Holzen, who could play a keyboard when he first sat in front of one. He is played by Fabrizio Borsani at age 6, and Teo Gheorghiu at age 12, who has most of the film and who does the real playing. His gifts were foretold at birth in a horoscope from a friend of his parents. His mother, Julika Jenkins, diligently makes him practice daily while not allowing him a normal childhood that might injure his hands.

Julika Jenkins as the mom instructs Fabrizio
Borsani as Vitus at age 6

Meanwhile, his grandad, joyfully played by the gifted and versatile Bruno Ganz (who played Hitler in 2004 in Downfall), schools the young boy in happiness, in finding your own dream. His was always to be a pilot, so he passes along his desire to fly to young Vitus. His dad, Urs Jucker, is a hearing aid engineer, who makes enough to keep them comfortable and allow music teachers for Vitus.

Of course, this story is full of metaphors. Vitus is almost too smart for the mundane daily affairs of the world (his IQ is 180), and he begins to resent his lack of freedom, so the flying references are a little obvious. Still, this is a good G-rated film, a rarity these days, one with no violence, no sex, no danger, just character growth and development, and self-discovery.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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