User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 4 out of 23
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  1. JohnB.
    Oct 25, 2007
    9
    Although the storyline is not too strong, the film captures brilliantly the agony and the ecstasy of Beethoven's struggle to produce his masterwork and the (edited) performance of the 9th is one of the most moving experiences of my more than 50 years of being a movie fan!
  2. RobertK.
    May 25, 2007
    8
    If you love music and yearn for a movie that tries to capture some of the mystery and power of creative genius, you'll be willing to forgive this movie for the wince-inducing anachronisms. at the start. Once the movie starts to focus on music and the price that genius has to pay, it really starts to work. The sequnce with the Ninth is very fine, but I was even more touched by the If you love music and yearn for a movie that tries to capture some of the mystery and power of creative genius, you'll be willing to forgive this movie for the wince-inducing anachronisms. at the start. Once the movie starts to focus on music and the price that genius has to pay, it really starts to work. The sequnce with the Ninth is very fine, but I was even more touched by the scene of Beethoven dictating the unearthly "Heiliger Dankgesang" from his A-minor string quartet (Op. 132). Lovers of the visual arts should listen to the director's comments about the art that inspired the final scene. Expand
  3. CathyC.
    Jun 22, 2007
    9
    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 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
  4. LuisC.
    Jul 31, 2007
    1
    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.
  5. MichaelE
    Jan 23, 2008
    8
    Captures the essence of Beethoven along with a stirring performance of his ninth symphony.
  6. NickB.
    Dec 12, 2006
    3
    Diane Kruger's performance is awful. She ruins the movie. Oddly enough, everything else is absurd and over the top. But her performance is flat and sometimes painful to watch.
  7. RuthH.
    Dec 25, 2006
    9
    Moving perceptive story well executed, brilliant score.
  8. Williamw.
    Nov 12, 2007
    9
    Excellent story. Performance of the ninth was magnificent.
  9. SeanM.
    Apr 14, 2007
    10
    Quite a nice movie about the process of making art. Well worth seeing.
  10. EduardoP.
    Sep 26, 2007
    10
    Great movie, wonderful argument.
  11. PaulW.
    Jan 28, 2008
    1
    Firmly set in the 21st century, with no period feel whatsoever. Beethoven was TOTALLY deaf for the last 15 years of his life, yet here he hears when it suits the script writers. Typical well-meaning American schmalz.
  12. SusanW.
    Nov 15, 2006
    10
    I LOVED IT ! ! ! Rarely, a movie comes along that is a work of art. I felt that way about Tous les Matins du Monde, and hadn't felt that way about any movie since. This one really enhanced my FEEL for Beethoven - for his art, and for his life. It got across the notion well that there's a deeper substrate to Beethoven's music that transcends calculation and structure. I was I LOVED IT ! ! ! Rarely, a movie comes along that is a work of art. I felt that way about Tous les Matins du Monde, and hadn't felt that way about any movie since. This one really enhanced my FEEL for Beethoven - for his art, and for his life. It got across the notion well that there's a deeper substrate to Beethoven's music that transcends calculation and structure. I was rapt. I found at the end that I still had a full bag of popcorn - I'd forgotten all about it as soon as the movie started. I especially loved two parts: the treatment of the Ninth, with the rapture and the excitement and the exhileration, and the explanation of the grosse fugue. Expand
  13. tomaszw.
    Nov 29, 2006
    10
    American critics don't get it. Copying Beethoven (read the title!) is not about Beethoven but about a hypothetical young woman who could have been and should have been, a meditation on art and the nature of genius in a field that's been the most guarded bastion of male supremacy. Journalistic criticism is too shallow and impressionistic to recognize or appreciate Agnieszka American critics don't get it. Copying Beethoven (read the title!) is not about Beethoven but about a hypothetical young woman who could have been and should have been, a meditation on art and the nature of genius in a field that's been the most guarded bastion of male supremacy. Journalistic criticism is too shallow and impressionistic to recognize or appreciate Agnieszka Holland's thoughtfulness and subtlety. Expand
  14. Jun 23, 2013
    10
    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 filmSheer 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
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. The picture never successfully comes off the written page.
  2. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    50
    Helmer Agnieszka Holland's Copying Beethoven joins 1994's "Immortal Beloved" in the ranks of mediocre dramatic interpretations of Beethoven's biography.
  3. Reviewed by: Luke Y. Thompson
    60
    Screenwriters Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson, best known for the two ponderous biopics "Ali" and "Nixon," deliver a film awkwardly composed.