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mdtinney's Movie Reviews (315)

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Mr. Holland's Opus 
A tear jerkr about a triumphant life.
4/4 stars

Opus literally means "work" in Latin. And this affecting tale of a man's life work is one of the best made in recent years.It's a brilliant script. Mr. Holland's passion for life - music, his work, his family - is wonderfully depicted, and contrasted against his own limitations in being able to achieve his goals. When faced with his shortcomings, he does something about them, and in the end triumphs because of it. And having his former students come back and show him how he has influenced their lives is an especially nice touch. The acting is excellent. Dreyfuss is a skilled actor, and he brings a warmth to the part that contrasts nicely with Mr. Holland's less appealing characteristics. Headley gives a sweet performance as a woman who loves her family and stands by them no matter what. The scene where she expresses her frustration at not being able to communicate with her son is especially well done. Thomas puts in a nice turn as the football coach. I'm am a big fan of Macy, and he does pretty well as the vice principal. Dukakis is nothing short of fabulous as the principal who decides to mentor Mr. Holland whether he wants her to or not. Yes, it's a tear jerker of a movie, especially the ending. But it's well worth the sacrifice of Kleenex, whether it's the first time or the hundred and first. This is a movie that says yes, anyone can make a difference in ways they never dreamed of.


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