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Word Count: 556
Amadaus is a biographacal film as seen through the eyes of rival court composer Antonio Salieri on the eve of Salieris suicide He is at once fiercely jealous of and totally awestruck by the young Mozart whose genius as a composer undeniably exceeds that of any other writer Salieri has heard -- including himself Salieris unbridled jealousy of Mozarts soaring reputation even as his own wanes leads him to try to drive Mozart to his death by anonymously commissioning Mozarts final Requiem Mass Paradoxically however it is the obsessed and resentful Salieri who can most truly appreciate the brilliance of Mozarts revolutionary music Elizabeth Berridge plays Mozarts wife Constanze The satiricalsatirical sensibilities of writer Peter Shaffer and director Milos Forman One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest were ideally matched in this Oscar-winning movie adaptation of Shaffers hit play about the rivalry between two composers in the court of Austrian Emperor Joseph II--official royal composer Antonio Salieri F Murray Abraham and the younger but superior prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Tom Hulce The conceit is absolutely delicious Salieri secretly loathes Mozarts crude and bratty personality but is astounded by the beauty of his music Thats the heart of Salieris torment--although hes in a unique position to recognize and cultivate both Mozarts talent and career hes also consumed with envy and insecurity in the face of such genius That such magnificent music should come from such a vulgar little creature strikes Salieri as one of Gods cruelest jokes and it drives him insane Amadeus creates peculiar and delightful contrasts between the impeccably re-created details of its lavish period setting and the jarring but humorously refreshing and unstuffy modern tone of its dialogue and performances--all of which serve to remind us that these were people before they became enshrined in historical and artistic legend Jeffrey Jones best-known as Ferris Buellers principal is particularly wonderful as the bumbling emperor with the voice of a modern midlevel businessman The
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