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When Roberta's husband left her, she left the security of her small hometown and moved to one of America's toughest neighborhoods, East Harlem. Her goal: to give kids the hope, pride and power to make something of themselves with the most unlikely tool, 50 violins. After 10 years of teaching, the school board decided to cancel her funding. With the support of her friends and the community behind her, she sets out to fight back.
Drama - Music of the Heart is a fact-based story of an inspirational
teacher, with themes similar to those in Stand and Deliver or
Dead Poets Society. Viewers who enjoy uplifting, inspirational
stories with very minimal offensive content will be most likely to
enjoy the film; fans of Meryl Streep may also enjoy her performance.
Teen viewers may find the film too sentimental or predictable; other
viewers my note a lack of character development.
PROFANITY: Mild and very infrequent SEX/NUDITY: None. VIOLENCE: A few incidents of schoolyard scuffling DRUGS/ALCOHOL: None. ACTION: One schoolyard fight COMEDY: Humorous clashes of personalities, teaching styles
I'll willingly make the following admission, Gentle Readers: I found myself getting misty-eyed during Music of the Heart. I follow this admission with one of a different sort, the sort that makes viewers everywhere want to throttle critics within an inch of their thumb-turning, star-distributing lives: Music of the Heart, moving though it may be, just isn't a particularly good film. The ultimate disappointment of Music of the Heart has little
to do with its predictability, but instead with a strangely fragmented narrative that never quite commits to a central story.
Roberta Guaspari's (Meryl Streep) world crashed down around her when her husband walked out on her and her two young children. Like women before her, Roberta sacrificed her career because it was not compatible with her husband's career. He was in the Navy and they moved around so often that she was simply unable to maintain a job. Following their separation, she vowed to live by her own set of rules; she would not permit anyone to define who she was or what she was capable of accomplishing.
Roberta left the security of her small hometown and moved to one of America's toughest neighborhoods, East Harlem. She wanted to finally have the opportunity to teach the violin. She didn't, have extensive experience to offer the school; she had her talent, her determination, and her violins. At first, the kids, the parents, and the principal (Angela Bassett) were skeptical. But, Roberta taught with such passion that it was infectious and soon her
young violinists were manifesting incredible results- they were making beautiful, sophisticated music.
The children proved to be dedicated, bright and disciplined young musicians. Each year, more children competed to win a slot in Roberta's classroom and, each year, Roberta re-discovered the brilliance and potential that lies within the souls of her young students.
Despite her successes, after 10 years of teaching, the school board decided to cancel her funding. With the support of her friends and the community, she set out to do what no one else dared. Roberta fought back.