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Best of the Best Pictures - 'Amadeus'

Amadeus

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Filmmakers and movie fans frequently embrace biopics of larger than life individuals. Often, movies that win the Oscar for Best Picture are biographies. Since this is the 30 year anniversary of "Amadeus," it is a particularly good one to check out this Academy Award season.

"Amadeus" begins with note composer Antonio Salieri (played by F. Murray Abraham) as an old man in an insane asylum. He tells the story of the celebrated musical prodigy Wolfgang Mozart (played by Tom Hulce) and their tumultuous relationship. Salieri was jealous of Mozart's talent and the affection the eccentric young man attracted. Although his behavior was often outlandish, Mozart's composing talents were extraordinary. Salieri was much more professional, yet he never earned the respect his rival earned. This led him to contemplate killing Mozart.

"Amadeus" has a great story. We understand why Salieri was jealous, and the way he plans the murder is fascinating.

F. Murray Abraham is masterful in the lead role. His character is consumed by jealousy, yet he is very smart and talented in his own right. Tom Hulce is also great as Mozart. Voice, hair, makeup, and physical contortions all come together to create an unforgettable character. Hulce was nominated for an Oscar and lost to Abraham.

This film is well-directed by Milos Foreman, who won his second Academy Award for the film. He makes all the characters interesting, and the movie looks great. It also won Oscars for Art Direction and Costume Design.

"Amadeus" is a must-see for fans of biopics.