Mr. Holland’s Opus

Mr. Hollands Opus

link to Cole’s song by Julian Lennon (written by Lennon, Kamen, Renwick, Cottle)

1995 directed by Stephen Herek
Starring Richard Dreyfus, William H. Macy and Glenne Headly
You might wonder why talk about films that are from the 90’s, well those are the films I grew up on, those are the films that made me fall in love with the movies. I will write about a few more, the reason is maybe someone has not watched them and they are truly good films. Hopefully someone will be interested to go and rent them and maybe even love these films like I did.
Mr. Hollands Opus is the story of Glenn Holland a musician and composer who starts a job as a teacher thinking that with that job he can provide for his wife and have time

to compose. But as he quickly finds out, being a teacher is more than just the class room and leaving at the ring of the bell a three o’ clock. At first, he struggles with it but slowly learns to love his job and really care for the kids. As time passes he has a child and struggles to cope with bonding with his son who is deaf.

The movie for me is so inspiring and really glorifies the job of the teacher. It is a job that is not appreciated like it should be. I really love the way the movie allows us to go through the motions with the character, his frustration, his love for those kids and his own hope of composing music. There are a few scenes that are so moving and powerful, and beautifully acted by Richard Dreyfus. There are two scenes where Holland helps two students to learn the musical instruments and by doing that he changed their lives. One was an athlete who needed another credit in order to stay on the team and just can’t find the beat, with encouragement from his friend who is also a teacher in the school, Holland keeps trying until he finally learns the beat and gets to play in the band, the smile on the kid’s face is really an example of the difference a teacher can make. The other is actually the first time he reaches to a student and sees how he can influence them and help them get better, he helps a student learn the notes on the clarinet when she was about to give up. Another moving moment comes when finally, father and son finally reconcile and Holland realizes that his son really loved and needed him, and in a school event dedicates John Lennon’s song “Beautiful Boy” to his son. The movie is truly roller coaster ride of emotions and so beautifully done.
Richard Dreyfus is so good in this movie earning an Oscar nomination for the film. The cast is really good, we have the great William H Macy as kind of the antagonist of the film as he and Holland don’t see much eye to eye, but in the end, he is not a bad person just have different views of what matters in terms of education.
One important factor in this movie is the music, we get an original score from Michael Kamen that is rare since it mixes orchestra and guitar and drums. And having the song from the film, using the score, written and performed by Julian Lennon, who could have easily related to Cole, Holland’s son, since he went through the same with his father John Lennon, sadly without reaching the result that Cole and his father reached since John was sadly killed on December *, 1980, a moment that is in the film and starts the discussion that in the end bring a father closer to his son. The rest of the music goes from the classics of the 60’s to the time he retires since the movies moves to different decades.
I really remember this times where my dad took us to see these great movies, this one along with films like Forrest Gump, Prince of tides and others that might find their way to my blog.

2 thoughts on “Mr. Holland’s Opus

  1. I love this movie too. The final scene of the movie always moves me to tears, for Holland had always dreamed of being a famous composer and creating a masterpiece and felt – that even though he was making a difference in the lives of these kids – he was not accomplishing his dream. But in that final moment, he learns that in deed he had made his own dream come true, just not in the way he had envisioned it. He had made a masterpiece by touching the lives of those students that had stepped into his classroom year after year. His students were his greatest opus.

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