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
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 »
[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'?
Well, I'll take my chances. Isabel Vasquez, second grade.
Roberta Guaspari, I'm ...
The violin teacher. I know.
So is it my imagination, or does *everybody* here hate me?
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 »
Please support arts and music education. See more »
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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