For her 2006 film, COPYING BEETHOVEN, acclaimed Polish director Agnieszka Holland, crafts a compelling fictionalised account of Ludwig van Beethoven (Ed Harris) as he creates his beloved Ninth Symphony, as seen through the eyes of Anna Holtz (Diane Kruger), a young music student assigned to transcribe his work. Although the thorny deaf composer initially resists Anna's help, the duo eventually form a fruitful relationship that results in one of the world's most spectacular classical pieces. Holland's first major movie of the 21st century, COPYING BEETHOVEN not only allows the filmmaker to recreate 17th-century Vienna, it reunites her with Harris, who previously starred in her 1999 drama, THE THIRD MIRACLE. As with his portrayal of painter Jackson Pollock (POLLOCK), Harris's simmering on-screen intensity carries the film, with the elegant Kruger subtly serving as his unlikely foil. Although the movie unveils a few subplots, most notably one that involves Beethoven's uncharacteristically affectionate bond with his nephew Karl (Joe Anderson), its sights largely remain on the Ninth Symphony, which is stunningly represented in an extended concert sequence. While COPYING BEETHOVEN doesn't quite reach the cinematic heights of AMADEUS, it does stand out as an exceptionally well-rendered film about classical music and one of its most lauded figures.
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