Sunday, October 28, 2007

Music Within: NY Times review

The NY Times calls it inspirational and - in a back handed compliment, says what should be a tough movie to get through is actually - well - pretty good. It notes the need to spread the word about this movie that depicts events leading up to and around the beginnings of the American with Disablities Act and its movement.

It is the story of Richard Pimental, who is rejected by a college professor for a speech sholarship because he has no point of view. Little did anyone know that his path in life would lead him to become a disability activist....

"Richard joins the military. A bomb blast during a tour of duty in Vietnam robs him of much of his hearing. Returning to the same Portland, Ore., campus, he falls in with his "traveling freak show": Mike Stoltz (Yul Vazquez), a fellow veteran filled with rage, and Art Honeyman (Michael Sheen, just terrific), a wheelchair-bound student afflicted with cerebral palsy and a wicked wit. The lover Richard chooses, Christine (Melissa George), is beautiful, blond and normal but believes in open relationships, so he is forced to share her with another man.

He quits a lucrative job to get disabled people jobs, which he and Mike prove supremely good at. When a restaurant refuses to serve Art a birthday breakfast, their arrest turns him into an activist.

The screenplay by Bret McKinney & Mark Andrew Olsen and Kelly Kennemer does a fine job of shoehorning the events of Pimentel's colorful life into a tight but jaunty structure. It also helps that the film can explore mental illness, war injuries, gross disabilities, suicide, lost love and parental rejection and never loose its optimistic nature. It's the opposite of Pollyanna-ism; this group goes in for naughty, mordant humor that deflects all the negativity and prejudice."
-via NY Times

Well I'm going to go bind myself into my wheelchair and deal with my affliction now......sigh.....when will people remove this kind of language from reviews that ostensibly recognize the need to get rid of negativity and prejudice? Anyway here's the trailer which I managed to find despite my affliction....

[visual description: Three of the main actors are shown. Richard is standing behind Art's wheelchair which is shown from the left side, and Christine, his girlfriend, stands on the right side of the wheelchair.]

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