6.8/10
11,148
127 user 80 critic

Music of the Heart (1999)

Story of a schoolteacher's struggle to teach violin to inner-city Harlem kids.

Director:

Wes Craven

Writer:

Pamela Gray
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Roberta
Cloris Leachman ... Assunta
Henry Dinhofer Henry Dinhofer ... Lexi at 5
Michael Angarano ... Nick at 7
Robert Ari Robert Ari ... Supervisor
Aidan Quinn ... Brian
Teddy Coluca ... Taxi Driver
Angela Bassett ... Janet
Josh Pais ... Dennis
Barbara Gonzalez Barbara Gonzalez ... Janet's Secretary
Jade Yorker ... DeSean at 11
Victoria Gómez Victoria Gómez ... Lucy at 10 (as Victoria Gomez)
Justin Pierre Edmund ... Bongo Kid
Justin 'DJ' Spaulding Justin 'DJ' Spaulding ... Naeem at 9 (as Justin Spaulding)
Zoe Sternbach-Taubman Zoe Sternbach-Taubman ... Guadalupe at 9
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Storyline

The true story of a young teacher who fights against the board of education in her bid to teach underprivileged kids in a Harlem school the beauty of music through the violin. In her struggle she loses everything as the system comes down on her with all their might but her determination for the kids happiness helps her to battle back with wonderfully inspirational results. Written by Kryp <capthowdee@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She gave them a gift they could never imagine. They gave the system a fight it would never forget.

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

AL | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

31 May 2000 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Música del corazón See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,653,281, 31 October 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,859,394
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The third collaboration between Wes Craven and actress Angela Bassett, who played Janet Williams. She appeared on the show Nightmare Cafe (1992), also created by Craven, and she was the lead female character in Vampire in Brooklyn (1995). See more »

Goofs

When Roberta speaks with Brian in her bedroom, she has curlers in her hair. In the next shot, they are gone. See more »

Quotes

Assunta Guaspari: I was the only one in the coffee shop not speaking Spanish. Boys, lunch!
[loud bang]
Assunta Guaspari: Oh! Gunshots!
Roberta Guaspari: That's a truck backfire, Mom.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Please support arts and music education. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Craven Images: The Horror Hits of Michael Berryman (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

HAYDN TRIO
Performed by Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra (as Young Musicians Foundation)
Written by Franz Joseph Haydn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Touching and Tender Story
5 September 2015 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Music of the Heart (1999)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Incredibly entertaining and heart-warming story of Roberta Guaspari (Meryl Streep), a woman who finds herself raising her two sons alone when her husband leaves her for another woman. Although Roberta sees her life falling apart, with a little help she manages to get a job in an inner city school teaching violin. Soon this small class begins to help the people in the community as well as Roberta being able to see the power of music.

MUSIC OF THE HEART was pretty much overlooked by fans of Wes Craven when it was released and, to be honest, the fans haven't bothered with it to this day, which is really too bad. I'm ashamed to admit that it took me this long to actually watch the movie because it's certainly one of the best films that Craven ever did and it's obvious just by watching it that the material was very close to his heart. Craven at one time was a teacher so it's clear that he had a passion for this material and it easily comes through his very sentimental direction.

Of course, it's certainly doesn't hurt when you've got someone like Meryl Streep delivering one of her grand performances that only she can. It's really amazing watching this actress because she makes it seem so easy yet when you really look at this character it's easy to see the challenged. This character really is all over the place throughout the movie in regards to the emotions that she displays yet Street touches on all of them. It's really amazing to see how much passion she brings to the role and you can't help but see a real violin teacher. The supporting cast features fine performances by all of the children as well as the likes of Angela Bassett, Aidan Quinn and Cloris Leachman.

The violin music itself is also extremely good and the technical side of the film is all very good. Craven certainly manages to keep the film moving at a very good pace and there's no question that there's a lot of heart in the picture and this comes through whenever a dramatic moment comes up. I'm certainly not going to spoil some of the twists that happen but they're all handled in a very tender way proving that the director was certainly able to deliver more than just horror. MUSIC OF THE HEART features a terrific performance from Streep and fine direction by Craven and it deserves to be seen.


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