Mozart’s Sister

May 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Posted in DVD Review, Film Review | Leave a comment
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I got Mozart’s Sister out of the library the other day.

Marie Feret plays Maria-Anna (‘Nannerl’) Mozart – the older sister of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. She like her famous younger brother was also a musical prodigy – she played the piano, the violin; sang, and composed. Though she ran into difficulties with the latter.

The children’s father toured the children around the courts of Europe hoping for fame and fortune. It appears that if you had musically talented children that’s what you did. The financial rewards must have been quite good if you caught the ear of someone wealthy. The Mozarts encounter an English boy violinist.

It is while touring that Nannerl encounters three french princesses in a convent – they have been sent there by Cardinal [Richelieu] to keep them out of intrigues at Court. Nannerl develops a friendship with Maria Louise (played extremely well by Lisa Feret). Nannerl ends up taking letters from Louise to friends-and-family at the French Court – at Versailles.

Nannerl ends catches the eye of the heir to the French throne – Louis, Le Dauphin. The latter has sworn off women and will only deal with men – so Nannerl has to dress as a man to deliver her letter! The plot requires Nannerl to dress as a man quite a bit – and when dressed as such looks like the surviving representations of Mozart (her brother). The Dauphin is captivated by the nannerl’s music. Even when she confesses to being a women, the Dauphin is not upset. For a while things go well.

The music, as you would expect, is wonderful and the costumes are beautiful. The cinematography is tight and well composed.

The Film fills in the spaces between the recorded historical facts. So eventually, things resolve themselves – not always for the good of all. The film is tinged with sadness: at what might have been – had two extremely able women been born men or in a different time. We are shown glimpses of the strength of character and unfulfilled potential of the two Marias.

The film looses nothing for being in french – it just adds to the historical authenticity.


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