Music of the Heart (1999)

Director: Wes Craven

Producers: Marianne Maddalena, Susan Kaplan, Allan Miller, Walter Scheuer

Starring: Meryl StreepCloris LeachmanHenry Dinhofer

Story of a schoolteacher's struggle to teach violin to inner-city Harlem kids.

Nonimated - Best Actress in a Leading Role - Meryl Streep

Nominated - Best Music, Original Song - Diane Warren

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Let's Stop Treating 'Music of the Heart' as the Forgettable Footnote in Wes Craven's Career

I prefer to think of it as Craven’s greatest risk: an uneven and at times saccharine risk, for sure, but one that still yields cinematic dividends that are stirring in their simplicity and sweetness but never slight or superficial. If that’s not the mark of a true cinematic icon then I’m not sure what is...

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Roger Ebert Review: 'Music of the Heart'

 

Directed by Wes Craven, known for his horror films, and he may seem like a strange choice for this material. Not at all. He is in fact a cultured man who broke into movies doing horror and got stuck in the genre; he's been trying to fight his way free from studio typecasting for 20 years, and this movie shows that he can get Meryl Streep to Carnegie Hall just as easily as a phantom to the opera...

 

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A Director Trades in the Hatchets for Violins

 

 

Her performance here is strong and convincing, and the film offers her an unusually well-drawn (if potentially toxic) role. Without undue sentimentality, it shows how a single mother with little work experience or confidence managed to help a lot of children and create a meaningful new life for herself in the process...