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MUSIC WITHIN

 
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At Theaters: 11/9/2007 On Video: 4/8/2008
Rated: R Length: 1 hr. 33 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 499994
Studio: MGM Pictures
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Storyline Heading
Richard enlist in the army after be rejected by his idol when he goes to college. During combat, he loses his hearing to a bomb blast, and has to deal with this newfound disability on his return to civilian life. When he tries to help his friends, vets like himself and others with disabilities, to get work in an environment that treats them with pity at best and disdain as a matter of course, he realizes that he can make a difference.
DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Drama - This is an inspirational fact-based drama aimed at an adult audience. Fans of star Ron Livingston will have plenty to savor here.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Ron Livingston PRETTY PERSUASION, LITTLE BLACK BOOK, BODY SHOTS
Melissa George 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, TURISTAS, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR
Michael Sheen BLOOD DIAMOND, THE QUEEN, LAWS OF ATTRACTION
Yul Vazquez RUNAWAY BRIDE, WAR OF THE WORLDS
Hector Elizondo PRINCESS DIARIES 2:
ROYAL ENGAGEMENT
Rebecca DeMornay LORDS OF DOGTOWN
Dir/Prod: Steven Sawalich Feature Film Debut
Producer: Brett Donowho THE BOX, THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MERYL
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Production Notes Heading
About The Production
A Disability Dossier
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: 12 F-words, 11 S-words, 1 GD, a number of others.
SEX/NUDITY: Heard but unseen sex.
VIOLENCE: None.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Frequent alcohol and tobacco.
ACTION: None.
COMEDY: Some suggestive verbal humor.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading

Roger Ebert Full Review
Above Average Because what it does, it does sincerely and fairly well.

USA Today Full Review
Above Average ...movies often don't do their stories justice, and that has happened again here.

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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Opinion Heading

Sorry, we were unable to collect moviegoer opinions.
This movie did not open in a city where we collect opinions.


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
Richard's childhood was not the most idyllic. His dad died young and his mom was too distracted by her own delusional siren song to even notice that he was there. Through it all, the young man perseveres, discovering in school that he has the gift of gab, a riveting presentation of stories that are hard to resist.

His ticket out of Podunk, or in this case, Portland, he decides, will be his skill as an orator. After some training in the school of hard knocks, the world of employment as a chef in a strip club, Richard finally makes his way toward the big time — a shot at a scholarship on a renowned college debate team.

But then, when the audition doesn't go so well, Richard takes another detour, a tour of duty in Vietnam where, again, he perseveres. When his life as a good soldier is cut short, and he returns to the Oregon college town with a genuine disability, Richard discovers that in a weird way, the detour was a necessary one.

Because through all his tribulations, Richard sees that power to communicate is still very strong in him. He has lost his hearing, so he learns to read lips. He goes back to school and shows Dr. Padrow, the academic who rejected him, that he did have something to say. By developing a close relationship with the outrageously intelligent Art, a brilliant man with cerebral palsy who has some difficulty attending classes in the days before accessibility, Richard becomes acutely aware of the challenges facing people with disabilities.

He takes Art to a restaurant to celebrate a birthday, only to be met with the disdain of the eatery's staff, who refuse to serve them because of what they declare is Art's deformity.

His own sense of outrage at the ignorance and insensitivity of the outside world galvanizes Richard to embark on what is to become his life's mission. His hearing disorder can be fixed with a sophisticated new hearing aid. His facile way with words and his endearing personality prove once again to be a ticket to gainful employment. But some of his fellow disabled veterans, he finds, are not so lucky, and the process by which he begins to solve their problems and to change peoples' perceptions toward the disabled community proves to be Richard's route to a far greater destiny - one of public service as a champion of the rights of the disabled and ultimately one of the primary activists behind the Americans with Disabilities Act.

By facing his own demons and finding out who he is, Richard finds his "music within," and discovers what Dr. Padrow had meant all along. In discovering his music, Richard has helped improve the lives of disabled people across the world, including his own.

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