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Music of the Heart (1999)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Wes Craven and producer Marianne Maddalena Rating:8.0/10 (1 vote) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by frankasu03 on September 25th, 2015:Find all reviews by frankasu03
This really is a solo track, ably navigated by Wes Craven. Partner and producer Maddalena exits the commentary after a very brief 10 minutes. Sad, because the rapport between the two is great, and you learn one interesting fact about the pair's history with Angela Bassett. From there, Craven provides a tremendous amount of information concerning "Music of the Heart," or "50 Violins," as it was once called. Experiences of Roberta Guaspari, the music teacher who inspired the film, as well as her own contributions to the production design are recounted at length. Craven details the logistics of shooting a film in East Harlem in the Winter months, and the difficulties of matching real locations to movie sets. As the noted "Horror" maven stretched his directorial muscles with "Heart," you get a real sense of Wes' ability to pull performances out of untrained actors. Whether it is a pop star wanting to act (Gloria Estefan) or a young, musical prodigy with a penchant for staring at the lens, Craven certainly had a subtle director's touch. You have to forgive the superlatives, because Wes is prone to announcing every visible player as "terrific," or "a big star in the years ahead." Wes' comments on Streep's performance provide a virtual 'actor's workshop' on the craft, and highlights this 2 hour long track. Meryl's behavior is noted often, and with good measure. A solid commentary, with little in the way of extended pauses. The genial manner of the former professor turned horror icon is captured in fine form. 8/10