If you have a Netflix streaming subscription and enjoy music, chances are your queue has a little film in it called Amadeus. It seems like the movie's been a part of Netflix forever and, being how critically heralded it is, is one of those films that seems to fall into everyone's "always wanted to see" territory. Well, your window of easy access Mozart is coming to a close as this Saturday, June 20th, Netflix will be removing the film from its streaming library.
Yes, we're as shocked as you. Amadeus being available on Netflix's streaming service just seemed like one of those things that would always be there, like that restaurant you have all those childhood memories at, or that local news anchor who you feel you can just always trust. Sadly, it seems like we may have taken Amadeus on Netflix for granted, but fortunately this is a case of "don't know what you got until it's almost gone," keeping the memory of Mozart out of Cinderella territory…for now.
At this point, I should mention that there's probably a number of you who've actually seen the film. Good. You all know what I'm talking about when I say it's great and not overhyped at all. I know praising the ambitious Amadeus isn't exactly taking a bold critical stance (might I also recommend The Godfather and Citizen Kane?) but I think it's worth noting that many of us do have that cinematic blank spot of some classic we've "always wanted to see" but never got around to it. Everyone has one, or at least had one at some point. This might be especially true of longer motion pictures like Amadeus, whose director's cut currently available on Netflix clocks in at exactly three hours, which can seem like something of a commitment. But given the medium of Netflix, by now viewers shouldn't be a stranger to binge-watching three episodes of a one-hour show, six episodes of a half-hour show, or two screenings of Timecop, so buckling in for a marvelous piece of cinema like Amadeus shouldn't seem that daunting.
Amadeus, directed by Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The People vs. Larry Flynt), won eight Academy Awards in 1984 including Best Picture. It follows famed composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) from the perspective of "rival" composer Antonio Salieri, based on Peter Shaffer's play which was so fictionalized, it took artistic license to kill. If you were wondering why you never saw Amadeus screened in in your school's music class, there's a chance it's because of how much of the movie is not true. While, by most accounts, Hulce's hyper-kinetic scatological-obsessed obnoxiously laughing Mozart is an accurate performance, the alleged turmoil between Salieri and Mozart, as well as the success or under performance of some of Mozart's openings seen in the film is widely disputed. Another reason you probably never saw it in school is because this three-hour director's cut includes nudity and vulgar language (Hulce's Mozart is not one to govern his tongue and at one point refers to himself as "a vulgar person) so it would be a challenge to qualify this one to concerned parents as part of a basic music education.
But the box office has spoken and we the modern film-going audience love a good music biopic regardless how accurate it is. Did Ray Charles really write "hit the road, jack" mere seconds after his woman left him as he walked over to the piano? Maybe not exactly, but we don't really rate how good a movie is by how accurate it was to real life. This summer's already set to have two big ones with Love & Mercy about Beach Boy Brian Wilson and N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton already two of the most anticipated new releases this season. While we at The Weekly are excited for both of those, their surefire permeance in pop culture is just another reason for you to watch Amadeus so you have something to compare the films alongside.
So what better way to kick off your summer than with Amadeus? Check it out this week and let us know if it rocked you like it clearly did Falco.