Amadeus: The Director's Cut | Chicago Reader

Amadeus: The Director's Cut

180 minutes 1984

The bawdy rock-star conception of Mozart for this 1984 film still feels like a stunt—all pink wigs and Tom Hulce's goony giggling. Mozart's sensitivity when it comes to composing gets no earthly explanation—his middle name, the picture's title, translates as "beloved by God"—and reducing his genius to ditzy giftedness seems like sour grapes on the part of screenwriter Peter Shaffer (who adapted his own play), as it was for Mozart's rival Salieri. Director Milos Forman plays Salieri's bitterness for laughs, not without success, but he stays out of the way of the opera, particularly a terrifying scene from Don Giovanni. Some 20 minutes have been added in this rerelease, spiking the overall vulgarity with some tawdry sexual compromise, though why any woman would go to great lengths for Hulce's buffoon remains a mystery. With F. Murray Abraham and Elizabeth Berridge.

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