Mr. Holland’s Opus - * * * 1/2*

Triumphant portrait a high school music teacher’s career. Richard Dreyfuss plays Glenn Holland, a musician who initially takes his teaching job to earn enough money to begin composing full time. Unfortunately, his life doesn’t turn out as he planned. Not only does the job fail to provide all the free time he wished to compose, he and his wife (Glenne Headly) have a child. Naturally, Mr. Holland continues to work at the high school, and the movie offers a glimpse of his life over the course of thirty years, from 1965 to modern day. Dreyfuss’ performance is masterful. You can sense his anguish when nothing ever turns out the way he plans, and his sheer enjoyment of music in any form. The film succeeds both on a personal level, showing the man, as well as portraying the position of a good teacher, the kind everyone regards as their favorite.

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