Amadeus (1984) Director: Miloš Forman



Amadeus has been a long-time favorite. The film was adapted from the stage play of the same name. Appropriately it won the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with a group of other awards (including two actors being nominated for Best Actor by the Academy).

The film tells the story of a fictional conspiracy theory. It is told from the perspective of Italian composer, Antonio Salieri, as he reflects on his life to a priest from an insane asylum. The whole film is a large Salieri flashback. he works hard to achieve greatness at the court of Vienna, but he is suddenly upstaged by an arrogant, licentious young composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. As the film progresses, Salieri’s resentment toward Mozart only increases. He covertly orchestrates a commission for Mozart to compose a requiem mass, with a plot to kill Mozart and claim the composition as his own. Mozart begins experiencing money troubles and he collapses from overwork after the completion of The Magic Flute. Salieri takes him home and offers to help him complete the mass. Mozart dictates the notes to him through the night, but he dies in the morning and is buried in an unmarked grave. While older, Salieri confesses to killing Mozart. He is dragged away back into the sanitarium while he feigns royalty.

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F. Murray delivers a truly great performance s both the young and old Antonio Salieri. Tom Hulce delivers the memorable and Academy Award winning performance as Mozart, perhaps best remembered for his childishly explosive and unnerving laugh. There are many subtle moments in the film, such as Jeffrey Jones’s delight at Mozart. Miloš Forman, the Czech director, passed away in 2018. He was best remembered for Amadeus, as well as One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975.

Is the film historically inaccurate? Sure. But that does not diminish the greatness of this film. The odd thing about Amadeus is that it is a murder story, but by the end of the film we sympathize with the murderer, Salieri, more so than the disagreeable Mozart with a contemptible and haunting laugh. Amadeus is an amazing film, one of the best of all time.

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