8 January 2011 | MartinHafer
I guess I am the odd-ball, but I found this pretty dull.
I saw this movie for one reason--it starred Dirk Bogarde. He was a wonderful actor and I'd watch him in anything--even a bio-pic! My dislike of most bio-pics is important to note, as unlike the other reviewers, I really didn't adore Franz Liszt and the idea of a film about him. That's because in my opinion (and I am sure many will disagree), most biographical movies are either short on entertainment value (they can be sluggish) or they avoid this by playing fast and loose with the facts. Frankly, I don't like either extreme. But when it comes to Liszt, I have no idea if this film is accurate--he is someone about whom I know very little (other than the fact that Bogarde looked nothing like him and the film makers did little to correct this). But I do know that the film is lethargic...very, very lethargic. So, despite his affairs and illegitimate children, the film managed to make all this very, very dull--and that is a crime. How can a film that often focuses on the composer's scandalous relationships be so turgid?! Perhaps because all too often nothing happens in the film--just lots and lots and lots of scenes with Bogarde playing either the piano or the organ. And, as many of the songs were not Liszt's compositions, I just felt a bit bored. So, aside from nice music (though a bit too much of it) and nice costumes, I found the whole thing pretty stale. If you are a musician and/or adore Liszt, perhaps you'll have a very different opinion--I just know that Dirk Bogarde made other films with a lot more energy and entertainment value.