Plymouth Film Club: “Mr. Holland’s Opus”

Sun., Nov. 12.

Join Philip Brunelle as host for Plymouth Film Club ‘s Nov. 12 showing of the biopic and drama “Mr. Holland’s Opus” (1 hr. 44 min.) at 12:30 in Jackman. Film Club shows films on Plymouth’s largest “screen”—the south wall of Jackman Hall—for enhanced viewing. The film is loosely based on the life of high school music director Glenn Holland.

In the film, Holland, played by Richard Dreyfuss, is a promising musician and composer in his twenties who realizes that his calling is to write music. He begins his first symphony. However, at thirty, he takes a job as a high school music teacher to support his wife and deaf child. Over the years, he learns to connect with students with rock and roll and develops an excellent marching band and orchestra.

But he is deeply disappointed that he never will be able to share his love of music with his deaf son; he fails to learn sign language and cannot connect with the boy, causing a growing rift with his wife. And his work with students leaves him almost no time for composing. Then his principal handles a budget crisis by cutting arts programs, which Holland fights.

Even as he re-establishes communication with his teenage son and improves his connection with his wife, he loses his job, leaving him despairing that his 30-year teaching career was a waste. After clearing out his desk, he unexpectedly finds the auditorium packed with several generations of music students and their parents. They give him a standing ovation, and the state’s governor—a clarinetist with whom he had to work closely in his first year of teaching—gives a speech praising him for all the lives he has affected so positively. The school orchestra then performs his just-finished symphony.

This big-budget Hollywood drama has a heart, intelligence, and excellent music from rock to classical. Stars include lead actor Richard Dreyfuss as Holland, Glenne Headly, Alicia Witt, Jay Thomas, Olympia Dukakis, William H. Macy, and Terrence Howard. The film was nominated for 10 awards, including Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Dreyfuss as lead actor, and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Screenplay.

Please join us—Philip Brunelle and Plymouth Film Club—to view this warm, smart, musical elegy on life goals and changes. Coffee & tea upstairs. Lunch: BYO or order sandwiches early from Cajun Boiling (open noon) to pick up by 12:15.