Critic At Large... Ruta Lee
Music Within a Tune In America's Heart
By Ruta Lee
Apr 20, 2008 - 1:00:35 AM
Some time ago, Steven Sawalich, a young director came into my life as a possible producer for one of my shows for The Thalians (thethalians.org).
However, he became involved in another project, which was our loss, but Hollywood's gain, because that project turned out to be "Music Within," a breakthrough film, which he produced and directed.
"Music Within" is a poignant, compelling and enlightening film which covers the dark subject of physical disabilities...with blessed humor. While I have always considered myself to be compassionate, seeing this film made me realize that most of us are totally unaware of how long and difficult the struggle has been for the disabled. Access to venues, restaurants, entertainment, things that we all take for granted, was impossible for so long and for so many.
While I learned a great deal from this movie, I was entertained every second of it. Now it is available on DVD. Hooray! It belongs in our film libraries. It reminds us that those with disabilities have so much to contribute to our lives and our nation.
The lead performance by Ron Livingston (Richard Pimentel) as the troubled
Vietnam deafened soldier is outstanding. Michael Sheen (Art Honeyman) is one of the most capable actors on the screen today. He was a perfect urbane Tony Blair in "The Queen." Now, in this film he plays a brilliant but cerebral palsy handicapped character. He is one to be reckoned with.
The entire cast and production company are wonderful and worthy of all of
the rave reviews they garnered when the film opened. Get the DVD. You won't regret having the breakthrough film effort of a hot new filmmaker, Steven (not Spielberg) Sawalich.
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