Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In this romantic period piece set in Vienna, a young music student and aspiring composer (Kruger) accepts a job as a copyist for Ludwig von Beethoven (Harris) as he works to complete his latest symphony.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. 80
    Copying Beethoven has an ace up its sleeve: the wonder and drama of the Ninth Symphony itself (heard here in Bernard Haitink's tremendous 1996 recording with the Royal Concertgebouw).
  2. The movie is completely beguiling, and it delivers joy, the beautiful spark of the gods.
  3. Has one knockout sequence: the deaf maestro conducting his Ninth Symphony as Anna coaches from the wings. It goes on for what seems a whole reel, but it's so sublime it seems too short and, by itself, could stand as one of the greatest classic music videos ever.
  4. Shot by Ashley Rowe to look like a cross between a Vermeer retrospective and a music video, Copying Beethoven is silly and misguided, if reasonably entertaining for its charming lack of self-awareness, its weakness for lines like "Loneliness is my religion!" and its transcendently beautiful music.
  5. The picture never successfully comes off the written page.
  6. 50
    More music and less melodrama would serve audiences better.
  7. Holland's empurpled bio-fantasy is hooey with an anachronistic feminist slant from start to finish.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 3 out of 14
  1. Jun 23, 2013
    Sheer pleasure watching films about Beethoven and this is no different. The Anna Holz character was a complete balance to the fiery master. Eccentric he may have been but in the film he uttered some really beautiful words about God. I always believed that geniuses like Beethoven were a channel for the hands of God. I love watching conductors and the Ninth Symphony sequence in the film was such a pleasure to watch, beautifully produced especially Kruger's acting helping the master. Expand
  2. SeanM.
    Apr 14, 2007
    Quite a nice movie about the process of making art. Well worth seeing.
  3. EduardoP.
    Sep 26, 2007
    Great movie, wonderful argument.
  4. RuthH.
    Dec 25, 2006
    Moving perceptive story well executed, brilliant score.
  5. CathyC.
    Jun 22, 2007
    I couldn't disagree more with Nick B.'s assessment of Diane Kruger's acting. She approached her role with subtlety, not flatness. Yes, Harris portrays Beethoven as "over the top" and bombastic. He was that way in real life, an egotist. This film isn't about Beethoven, it's about how the times treated women, and shut them out of important pursuits. It's a feminist "what if" by a feminist director. It should be viewed for it's intent, not what we wish it were. Expand
  6. MichaelE
    Jan 23, 2008
    Captures the essence of Beethoven along with a stirring performance of his ninth symphony.
  7. LuisC.
    Jul 31, 2007
    The film is a farse. The most unforgivable mistake is presenting an apparently deaf Beethoven that sometimes hears everything and some other times he invents the perfect excuse to blackmail Anna. Bad film. Expand

See all 14 User Reviews