Irish Film Institute -MOZART’S SISTER


Director: RENÉ FÉRET

120 minutes, France, 2010, Subtitled, Colour, D-Cinema


This fascinating historical drama takes us on the road with the Mozart family in the 1760s, as ambitious father Léopold (Marc Barbé) hauls his child prodigy Wolfie (master David Moreau) round the courts of Europe, performing in a duo with equally talented older sister Nannerl (Marie Féret, daughter of director René). It’s a hard life, reliant on aristocratic generosity, but even worse for Nannerl, who’s excluded from her dad’s composition lessons for little Wolfgang, even though she’s desperate to write down the melodies in her head. An audience at the French court in Versailles underlines the Mozarts’ celebrity, but as Nannerl encounters the younger royals herself, it seems she’s not the only one hemmed in by tradition and familial duty.

A blend of research and artistic license, the film’s engrossing throughout, with gilded authentic locations and charismatic performances marking its thoughtful portrait of time-locked chauvinism. Kudos, too, for Marie-Jeanne Séréro’s lovely score, which seamlessly integrates Nannerl’s speculative creations with Amadeus’s charming juvenilia. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

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