6.8/10
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127 user 81 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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language and sensuality | 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:

29 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fiddlefest See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,653,281, 31 October 1999

Gross USA:

$14,859,394

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,936,407
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

Director Wes Craven's first and only non-horror/thriller film. See more »

Goofs

At the end of Roberta's first week of teaching, Brian visits her apartment to celebrate. When he enters the room, Roberta has just finished putting three large curlers in her hair on the left side. They disappear after the two of them kiss. See more »

Quotes

Isabel Vasquez: [approaching Roberta who is sitting on a bench by herself at lunch after being shunned by other teachers] What's the matter? You got cooties or somethin'?
Roberta Guaspari: Oh, apparently.
Isabel Vasquez: Well, I'll take my chances. Isabel Vasquez, second grade.
Roberta Guaspari: Roberta Guaspari, I'm ...
Isabel Vasquez: The violin teacher. I know.
Roberta Guaspari: So is it my imagination, or does *everybody* here hate me?
Isabel Vasquez: Look, it's hard to fit in when you're doing a special program. People figure you're not gonna be here very long, so they don't make the effort. It may take a ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Please support arts and music education. See more »

Connections

Remake of Small Wonders (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Twinkle-Grasshopper
Performed by Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra (as Young Musicians Foundation)
Arranged by Shinichi Suzuki (as Dr. Shinichi Suzuki)
Courtesy of Warner Chappell Music Inc.
By arrangement with Summy-Birchard, a division of Warner Bros. Publications
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Meryl Streep holds it all together
11 August 2014 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Roberta Guaspari (Meryl Streep) and her two kids move back home with her mom Assunta (Cloris Leachman) after her husband run off with her friend. She never made it as a concert violinist and teach sparingly as she is pulled around the world by her navy husband. An old friend Brian Turner (Aidan Quinn) directs her to Principal Janet Williams (Angela Bassett) who reluctantly hires her as a substitute music teacher in the East Harlem inner city school. All the teachers hate her except Isabel Vasquez (Gloria Estefan).

It's a pretty traditional biopic by director Wes Craven who usually does horror. It's not a particularly original true story but it's an effective one. The most impressive thing in this is Meryl Streep. She holds the movie together. There are all the classic hurdles like the intransigent teachers, poverty, angry parents, violent neighborhood, and tough luck kids. Through it all, Streep works her butt off pulling the right heartstrings.


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