Peter Shaffer's Amadeus: Director's Cut
DVD - Image B+ Sound B Extras B+
BD - Image B Sound A Extras A
starring F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Simon Callow
screenplay by Peter Shaffer, based on his play
directed by Milos Forman
by Walter Chaw Bringing the highbrow to the status-hungry middle in the same way as those "Bach's Greatest Hits" collections and the awful faux-llies of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Milos Forman's bawdy, jittery adaptation of Peter Shaffer's fanciful play "Amadeus" is not so much about Mozart as it is about genius and its burden on the mediocre. Mozart (Tom Hulce) is an adolescent boor touched by the hand of God; Emperor Joseph's (Jeffrey Jones) court composer Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) becomes obsessed and desperately jealous of Mozart's gift, leading him to the madhouse and confessions of murder. Amadeus works because of Forman's gift for the seedy (and portraying asylums--he directed One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, after all) and because of Abraham's deeply-felt performance.