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"SHINE"
(1996) (Geoffrey Rush, Armin Mueller-Stahl) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate None Moderate Minor None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Minor Minor None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Extreme Moderate Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A pianist prodigy must balance learning, family, and his sanity as his skills grow.
PLOT:
David (GEOFFREY RUSH as the adult) is a gifted pianist prodigy who been taught by his overbearing, but lovingly protective father, Peter (ARMIN MUELLER-STAHL). His father strongly believes in the family and when David's need to grow as a pianist increases, Peter becomes more stubborn not to allow him to leave. Years later when David gets an invitation to study abroad he doesn't know what to do. But an elderly writer, Katharine Susannah Prichard (GOOGIE WITHERS), whom he often visits, encourages him to go and he leaves despite his father's protests. He attends the Royal College of Music where he studies under the guidance of Professor Cecil Parkes (JOHN GIELGUD). His skill level increases, but after a brilliant and extremely difficult piece, David has a serious mental breakdown and is told never to play again. No longer accepted at home, David goes to live in a psychiatric hospital until he meets Gillian (LYNN REDGRAVE), an astrologist whose unconditional love allows him to finally resume playing the piano.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Not unless they're pianists themselves.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For nudity/sensuality and intense thematic elements.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • GEOFFREY RUSH plays David as an adult, a gifted pianist who has a nervous breakdown and from then on chain smokes cigarettes.
  • ARMIN MUELLER-STAHL plays the overbearingly protective father who squashes David's future to keep his family together. He finally banishes his son from ever returning to his house.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 7.5 out of 10
    This is an entertaining and freshly original look at the world of a musical prodigy. Those who are musicians or who just love music will revel in this film. It fully explores both the beauty of the art and the dark side of being so consumed with one's passion and gift that it nearly destroys the artist. The rest of the audience will be presented with wonderful performances, especially from Rush who just may be this year's long shot at getting an Oscar nomination. While it's doubtful that this film, based on a true story, will appeal to anyone under the age of twenty, it will be a refreshing change to adult audiences looking for something other than the normal slam bang action film or dim-witted comedy. We give it a strong 7.5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Kids probably will not want to see this, but if they do, there's not a great deal to object to. Profanity is mild (1 "s" word out of only a couple of objectionable words) and violence is limited to Peter hitting David in two separate scenes. There are, however, quite a few views of David's bare butt and a brief post sex scene with David on top of Gillian and then she on top of him with a brief glimpse of her breast. Tassel covered strippers are also seen and smoking is extremely heavy. In addition, David's trip into mental instability might confuse some kids and may need some explaining. We do suggest, as always, that if your kids want to see this film that you read the category listings before allowing them to do so.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People are seen drinking inside a bar several times.
  • Wine is consumed at a wedding reception.
  • People drink wine at several receptions.
  • Katherine drinks Brandy.
  • Two fellow students drag David to a strip joint where they're seen drinking. The next morning David wakes up on the street, suggesting that he had quite a bit to drink the night before.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Peter tells his daughter that he thought he told her to tell her friends not to visit her at their home.
  • David is invited to study in America but his father destroys the invitation in the fire and wonít allow him to go.
  • A music teacher wants to use Davidís bar mitzvah as a money raising opportunity to pay for his trip to America. Upon learning of this, Peter says that religion is nonsense.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • As David performs a very difficult piece, the music fades away and is replaced with minor tense music and just the dull sound of piano keys being pressed and the sound of his heartbeat. Heís sweating profusely and by the end, he collapses in a heap on the stage.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • A girl sticks her tongue out at Davidís younger sister as they ride by on their bikes.
  • Being a poor student, David eats cat food with a cat.
  • Phrase: "Shut up."
  • Groping women's breasts, as David does on several occasions (but he is a bit mentally unstable).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • In a psychiatric hospital, a nurse suddenly yells out Davidís name, startling him.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • As David performs a very difficult piece, the music fades away and is replaced with minor tense music and just the dull sound of piano keys being pressed and the sound of his heartbeat.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 1 "s" word, 1 hell, and 1 use each of "Oh God" and "For God's sakes" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Two fellow students drag David to a strip joint where strippers with tassel covered breasts are seen.
  • Davidís bare butt is seen as he goes to get his mail wearing just a sweater. A woman gives him a nervous and disgusted look.
  • Muriel, a woman who's taken David in, gives him some medicine and then cuddles his head to her chest. He then feels her breast, but she quickly stops him.
  • David fondles Murielís breast in a church, and after that she has him committed again.
  • Davidís bare buttocks are seen as he jumps up and down on a trampoline wearing only a raincoat.
  • Davidís bare buttocks are seen again as he races out to skinny dip in the ocean.
  • David and Gillian are seen in bed together after having just been married and after having sex. He is first seen on top of her, and then she on him, and a brief glimpse of her breast is seen, but nothing else is.
  • David feels Gillian's breast while on stage.
  • SMOKING
  • David smokes throughout the movie, especially once heís become mentally unstable.
  • People are seen smoking inside a bar several times.
  • A man smokes a pipe at a reception, while others smoke cigarettes at another.
  • Katherine smokes in nearly every scene sheís in.
  • Two fellow students drag David to a strip joint where they push a cigar into his mouth.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • David is invited to study in America but his father destroys the invitation in the fire and wonít allow him to go. The rest of the family is upset over this, but Peter says he knows whatís best.
  • Peter talks about how his whole family died (presumably in the Holocaust) and although he doesnít admit it, thatís the reason he so desperately attempts to keep his current family together.
  • Peter pushes David up against the wall and hits him many times after David defiantly says heís going to study at a school in London despite Peter's protests. The rest of family is there and is very upset. Peter tells David, "If you go, youíll never come back to this house again. Youíll never be any bodyís son....Do you want to destroy your family?...If you go youíll be punished for the rest of your life."
  • Peter destroys all of the newspaper clippings he had collected over the years concerning David.
  • After some time of being away, David calls to say heís home, but his father hangs up on him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • David's nervous breakdown.
  • Peter's statement to live by: "Only the strong survive and the weak get crushed."
  • How the father loved his son too much and thus didn't let him pursue his dreams.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Peter hits David with a wet towel many times after David has defecated in the bathtub (over being so upset of not getting to go to America to study music).
  • Peter pushes David up against the wall and hits him many times after David defiantly says heís going to study at a school in London despite Peter's protests.



  • Reviewed October 11, 1996

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