What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that most kids probably won't be interested in this period romantic drama, which deals with mature, somewhat abstract themes -- art, aging, inspiration, and originality. It focuses on a passionate, if chaste, relationship between the aging Beethoven and a young woman who works for him. The film includes some general vulgarities (references to bodily functions, filth, rats), a few occasions when Beethoven is drunk and unruly, and scenes featuring his dissolute nephew gambling and behaving badly (he grabs Anna's breasts). Characters argue loudly, and Anna cries when Beethoven berates her. Occasional mild language ("s--t" is the worst of it).
- Families can talk about the creative process. How does the movie make the processes of composing and listening to music seem dynamic, rather than quiet, personal activities? How does it show that music is a sensual, emotional, and visceral means of communication? How does Anna provide a model of good moral behavior for her cantankerous employer? Does the movie make you any more interested in classical music?