Carm and I watched Amadeus the other night. I’ve seen it before, way back when it came out. But it was like seeing it for the first time watching it with Carmina. Her knowledge of Mozart’s music, and specifically his operas, made a lot of things more clear to me. For instance near the end of the movie there’s a wild opera going on and she pointed out to me that it was a parody of all of his operas…a kind of tribute to him. He appreciated it, but his wife didn’t. I never picked up that it was a parody so that was all lost on me.
One of the things I really appreciated was how they used modern speech in the movie. It made it very accessible, without really being too jarring. It was almost like a translation. You know the characters wouldn’t have used that particular phrase, but they would’ve said something with a similar meaning.
The costumes and of course the soundtrack were amazing. It took me a long while to place Elizabeth Berridge, who played Constanze Mozart; she played the ugly, awkward lady cop on The John Larroquette Show! She was gorgeous in Amadeus!
One other important fact I took away from watching the movie with Carm is that it isn’t true. Certain facts were true; Mozart was terrible with money, he was married to Constanze and they were very much in love, and Salieri was the Court Composer at the time. But there’s no historical evidence of any of the scheming or the malice that Salieri had for Mozart in the film.
It was a great movie in 1984, and its a great movie today. If you haven’t seen it, you should. It really benefits from a home theater system, though. The soundtrack is so….massive.