Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks- films about prodigies/Geniuses




It's genius week or prodigy week over at Wandering Through the Shelves. You pick 3 films that correspond to the theme of that week and this is the theme. I have never met someone who is a genius and not sure I would want to because they could easily put me to shame. I have met many who think they are geniuses and those are the types I like to stick a pin in their huge head and watch it deflate. So, let's check out the movies...

1. AMADEUS-1984


I have not seen this film in a long time but I love it! I am not sure if Mozart was quite the nut displayed in this film but it does not take away from the fact that he was not only a child prodigy who composed the song "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" when he was 4, but also a man driven to create sheer poetry in musical notes. Salieri, a noted composer on his own, but now forgotten, talks about Mozart and his life at the King's court. Salieri's jealousy is shown to great effect as well as his respect for  Mozart's genius by the actor F Murray Abraham. We see Mozart at the top of his game but slowly losing favour, dying young and thrown into a pauper's grave with no one in attendance. The acting is superb and the music...sublime.

2. SHINE-1996


This first brought Geoffrey Rush to prominence to the regular folk like moi:). He plays David Helfgott, a young Australian who is mentored by his controlling father. He is a child prodigy gifted in playing the piano and wins competitions. He is not allowed to go to London or the U.S. because his father does not wish to lose control, but, eventually, David does go to London and enters a competition to play the very difficult Rachmaninoff's Concerto #3. He wins but at a cost to his mental health and ends up in a mental hospital where he undergoes electro-shock therapy. David must try to climb back up despite his mental issues (I like to say brain issues). It is an acting tour-de-force from Rush  and I think he did deserve the Oscar.

3. STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE-1999


Surprise! Now I am not a lover of these 3 films from the 90's but this young kid, the future Darth, is a child prodigy who sets everything in motion and is the daddy of Luke and Leia so I think this does belong. Now it starts with Q-Tip (Ok, Qui-Gon) and a young Obi-Wan going in search for the the one who has "The Force". They find this in the young Anakin (played horribly by that kid Jake Lloyd), a slave to some fat dragonfly, who ends up winning his freedom in a race. The troupe find Jar-Jar(ugh...don't ask) and Princess Armadillo (ok Amidala) and they all end up on going to a planet so she can plead her people's case regarding some trade agreement. All the while, the evil Sith are now gaining more power. I actually like the plot, The special effects are outstanding and the acting, aside from the annoying kid, is good. I really like Armadillo's planet which I thought was really quite beautiful. The music is excellent in the major fight scene between Q-Tip, Obi and the red and Black faced guy whom you know is evil due to his mean dad (OK just kidding but it always seems to be the dad's fault doesn't it?)

Which films would you pick?

An Extra...

WILEY E. COYOTE-SUPER GENIUS


69 comments:

  1. Ha! I read only the title of your post, and Amadeus was the first movie that popped into my mind!

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    1. Yes, Amadeus is popular and with good reason

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  2. Real Genius with Val Kilmer came to my mind first!

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    1. I have never seen it! Off to look into it

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  3. First Thoughts: Amadeus, A Beautiful Mind, The Theory of Everything. Love your description of the Star Wars movie. Alas, I have not seen Amadeus or Shine. So little time...

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    1. All very popular today. Glad you like my SW description

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  4. Hi Birgit ...seen Amadeus and Star Wars but not shine.....another for my Birgit list!....not doing anything today just keeping warm and cosy on the sofa and catching up on breaking bad.....scary...hugs xxxxx

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    1. I hope you had a nice time relaxing. We all need that on occasion

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  5. Hi, Birgit!

    Amadeus is one of Mrs. Shady's favorite films. She has seen it at least a dozen times and I have watched it with her on occasion. I loved its star, Tom Hulce, in Animal House. My favorite part of Amadeus is the revealing costume worn by Elizabeth Berridge, whom I got to know a few years earlier in Tobe Hooper's horror gem The Funhouse.

    I have not seen the other two movies, but Shine reminded me of one I did see in the early 90s - the New Zealand film The Piano starring Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel and Sam Neill, a movie that I highly recommend.

    That Wile E. Coyote clip from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series featuring the Roadrunner was a blast!

    Thanks, dear friend BB!

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    1. The Piano is an amazing film but aside from playing the piano, vastly different. I think you would enjoy Shine. I love Wiley E Coyote

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  6. Nice! I like how you went with Anakin Skywalker as a prodigy. Great choice. (though annoying child actor lol)

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    1. Thanks and yes, he was so annoying and so, so bad

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  7. I've seen Amadeus only once at school and I loved it. I need to rewatch it. Anakin didn't even cross my mind, but he's a great pick.

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    1. Amadeus is popular and thanks about SW

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  8. The Star Wars film is an unexpected choice and the only one of your three I haven't seen, I could barely tolerate the first three!

    Haven't thought of Shine in a while but Rush is tremendous in the lead, I found the film a challenge but ultimately worthwhile.

    We match!! I suspected that Amadeus would show up somewhere this week and almost passed on it but it fits the theme like a glove plus being such a splendid film.

    I did a little theme within the theme since all mine relate to a musical prodigy.

    The Legend of 1900 (1998)-In the year 1900 Danny Boodmann, a stoker (Bill Nunn) on an American ship discovers an abandoned baby left on board. Taking him in to raise as his own he gives him a long unwieldy name eventually shortened to 1900 as the pair live their life at sea. As 1900 grows his musical genius becomes apparent and he becomes the ship’s mascot. After a tragedy befalls Danny 1900 remains on board growing to manhood (where he is played by Tim Roth) never touching dry land but continuing to hone his skill (including a fantastic sequence where he plays a waltz during a storm at sea). In time he befriends Max, a trumpeter in the ship orchestra (Taylor Pruitt Vince) and it is through his reverie we learn 1900’s story.

    Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)-Starring Shirley Temple, one of Hollywood’s premier musical prodigies (in terms of dollars & cents THE musical prodigy) as the rich girl of the title. Barbara (that would be Shirl) on her way to boarding school is left to her own devices when her nanny is killed in an accident. Barbara unaware of this but not wanting to go to the school wanders the city until she becomes acquainted with and is taken in by a pair of down on their luck performers Jimmy & Jerry Dolan (Jack Oakie & Alice Faye). Thinking she’s an orphan and realizing that she’s a musical prodigy they put Barbara in their act as their daughter. Soon they hit the big time with their own radio show overseen by ad exec Margaret Allen (Gloria Stuart of Titanic fame) where they’re heard by Barbara’s widowed father who has been searching for her frantically. One of the better Temple vehicles with a first rate supporting cast, both Oakie and Alice Faye get several chances to strut their stuff, and no matter how you feel about her Shirley was a bundle of talent.

    Amadeus (1984)-Multi Oscar winning story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) and Antonio Salieri (an Oscar winning F. Murray Abraham) and how Salieri’s jealousy of Mozart’s genius lead to great tragedy for both. Amazing music, performances, set design and direction. An essential film.

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    1. I like the first 3 so...yeah, skip the middle 3 because you may kick your tv in. I'm glad you picked Shirley Temple! I have not seen that film but she was a little acting genius( a bit of a stretch, I know) and saved a studio. I so wanted to pick Deanna Durbin but I couldn't find a film that would fit

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    2. I ADORE Deanna Durbin!!! Though honestly I enjoy her later films more, she grew into such a bewitching creature. It Started with Eve is my absolute favorite but I'm very fond of Lady on a Train and Christmas Holiday as well.

      It's a shame she was stuck at Universal, imagine the sumptuous heights she could have achieved at MGM or 20th. I don't think it would have ultimately changed the fate of her career though. There was a girl that liked her privacy!

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    3. I saw more of her earlier work but I did see It Started With Eve and that's when I loved her as well. I'm Proud to say she is Canadian even though she didn't live here since she was a little girl. She loved her privacy...fiercely!

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  9. Real Genius popped in first at my sea, Ick to the prequels, but it did show the start of the whole dark side indeed.

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    1. I haven't seen this film but very interested

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  10. Amadeus is one of my all time favorite movies. I watch pieces of it on U-Tube all the time.

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    1. It is so good especially showcasing the characters

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  11. Birgit, As you know we both picked "Amadeus". Like you, I'm not sure how much of Amadeus' character portrayal is true but often geniuses are a bit odd (like me - lol). "Shine" looks interesting. I will check this out. I never cared for the later Star War Flicks not even the newest one. The original trilogy is the best. I loved the Wylie Coyote clip. While he may not be a genius, he must be invincible. Just think about the number of times he's cheated death. Thanks for sharing and for visiting today. BTW, do you know when TMP linky goes live?

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    1. She jumps around but she is live now

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    2. I hope you put your link up. It is odd that the link isn't up til a bit later but I just keep checking. We do match we Amadeus and glad you love Wiley E Coyote who is not really a super genius but so nice he thinks he is

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  12. I've seen the first two that you chose. One I saw recently and liked is The Man Who Knew Infinity, which stars Dev Patel as a mathematician. The women in Hidden Figures are also brilliant, especially Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), who was quite the whiz at analytical geometry.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I don't know the one with Dev Patel so have to check it out. I really want to see Hidden Figures and hope to see it soon

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  13. I have never seen Amadeus, I am going to see if I can stream it on Netlfix.

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  14. HAHA LOVE that bonus pick! I'm such a sucker for Wile E. Coyote/Roadrunner cartoons!

    I also picked Amadeus, one of my favorite films. So brilliant on every level. I remember really liking Shine when it came out, but I haven't seen it since.

    I haven't seen The Phantom Menace since it came out either, but for VERY different reasons. Namely, it's largely a piece of crap (I do like the podrace and anything with Darth Maul though).

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    1. Wiley E is a super Genius:) The Phantom Mess is just that but love the fight scene and the beauty of Armadillo's planet

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  15. Shine popped into my head too, I never thought of Amadeus but it fits really well - great film. Confession time: I saw the original Star Wars film when it came out and never felt inspired to watch another......

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    1. Glad you like Shine also and Amadeus is divine...to me anyway. I am not a huge lover of Star Wars but my favourites are the first 3

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  16. I'm with the Real Genius comments. "Wanna see a demonstration of gravity?"

    I've seen Amadeus and Phantom Menace (obvs), but not Shine.

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    1. I have to see that movie:) Shine is excellent

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  17. Wiley E. Coyote was definitely a super genius even though he never caught the road runner. (Ever notice how weird of a spelling genius is. I kept wanting to spell it genious, which looks weird, too.)

    I haven't seen the Shining yet. For some reason I think it's that movie with Jack Nicholson.

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    1. It is a weird spelling...I had to look it up actually:) This means I am not in the genius category...I can't even make it to the G category:) The Shining is with Jack and is a horror film but Shine is a film about a real man who was brilliant but had to deal with many issues

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  18. I've watched Amadeus and I love how it becomes a competition story that compels. I didn't see The Phantom Menace coming though it's downright matched with the theme. I almost forget if Ani is a genius. Lol.

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    1. Ani is gifted and changes their galaxy! Now, the little brat who plays him...is not:)

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  19. The sad truth is that I've been meaning to see Amadeus, literally, since 1984, and I haven't watched it yet. Sigh.

    I don't hate The Phantom Menace, so I'm not mad at that pick. Never heard of Shine, though.

    Finally, you win the week, as far as I'm concerned, with your pick of Wile E. Coyote. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent watching him chase the Road Runner.

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    1. Yippee! I win with Wiley E...I had to include him and I, too, watched him with Bugs, the Road Runner, Sylvester and the gang....nothing beats them....except rocks and anything made by the Acme Company:)

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  20. I love the addition or inclusion of Wiley E. Coyote. Awesome! Watched him over and over and over again. :)

    I saw Phantom Menace back when it came out. Haven't seen the others- but thanks for putting Amadeus back on my radar.
    ~Jess

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    1. I love Wiley E and all the Looney Tunes

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  21. I never would have thought to throw Star Wars in there!

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    1. Well, the kid could do many things and, later, cause a major upset in space so I thought he belonged

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  22. BIRGIT ~
    Yeah, AMADEUS without a doubt! And that guy, Joel, really knows his stuffs: I didn't immediately think of THE LEGEND OF 1900, but when I saw Joel mention it, I thought: But of course! (Especially that cigarette-lighting scene on the piano strings! One of the greatest movie scenes of all-freakin'-time!)

    The John Cusack movie LOVE AND MERCY about Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys came to mind. Not a "great" movie, but a good one, and Brian Wilson was "the" genius of Pop music. (Anyone who doubts that can refer to the producer of The Beatles who picked Wilson over Paul McCartney and John Lennon! Yes, The Beatles' own producer said Brian was greater than either Paul or John, and he was quite correct!)

    If the rules stipulated that documentaries don't count, I didn't see it. In which case I would definitely have as a Top Three choice THE FIRST AMERICAN TEENAGER, about James Dean. He's still the greatest, most creative and inventive actor I've ever seen.

    Also, NO DIRECTION HOME, about Bob Dylan. Nearly all lyricists owe everything to Bob Dylan. Before Dylan exploded on the scene, song lyrics went like this:

    "I want to hold your ha-aaa-nd,
    I wanna hold your hand!"


    But after Dylan they went like this:

    And take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind
    Down the foggy ruins of time
    Far past the frozen leaves
    The haunted frightened trees
    Out to the windy beach
    Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
    Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky
    With one hand waving free
    Silhouetted by the sea
    Circled by the circus sands
    With all memory of fate
    Driven deep beneath the waves
    Let me forget about today until tomorrow


    If THAT ain't the work of a genius...

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    1. POSTSCRIPT:
      BIRGIT, I thought the addition of the Wile E. Coyote cartoon was terrific. And following is my answer to that one. This is one segment from one of my all-time favorite cartoons featuring one of my all-time favorite cartoon characters:

      (Link:] Foghorn Leghorn in 'LITTLE BOY BOO'

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Check out my new blog @
      (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    2. She's just 17, you know what I mean......not really but I love how you showedthe lyrics after Dylan's influence and yes, documentaries apply! Thank you for showing that little egg head who always got the better of Foghorn...perfect!

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  23. I love love love Amadeus! I remember mentioning it in the comments in your post last Thursday. In fact, as soon as I read it I saw The girl with the pearl earring. Haven't seen Shine in your list. Love the Coyote!

    Two movies about geniuses I can think of, that I loved are: A beautiful Mind and Rain Man.♥

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    1. Glad you love Amadeus and that you saw Girl with the Pearl Earring. . A Beautiful Mind was popular this week but no one chose RainMan which I was surprised by

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  24. I have to say, I was a little surprised I didn't see a movie about my life.
    Rest of World: That's because there never was one.

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  25. BTW, Wile E. Coyote's pupils shrinking NEVER fails to make me laugh.

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    1. It was so great...looney Tunes is the best and Stephen picked another good one

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  26. That Wile Coyote - I think he's the devil.
    Love ya, Birgit.

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    1. He really believes he is a super genius:) hmmmmm...I wonder who else has thoughts of Godhood...I believe he is orange in colour.

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  27. I did not realize Mozart wrote Twinkle, Twinkle. What a sad ending for someone who had such a profound affect on the world.
    Hope your mom is partying down:)

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    1. Yup, he wrote that when he was so very little. I was lucky to spell my name. It is a sad ending to a huge talent. My mom enjoyed the cake but we had to keep reminding her why she has cake and flowers:)

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  28. Don't think I've seen any of these, but I did see the original Star Wars. And I've seen trailers for Amadeus. You're finding some treasures in the movie archives. This is a wide diversity of viewing tastes too! TFS & have a great week. Hugs

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  29. awww yeh Star Wars pick! I actually hate the prequel films as I'm true origanls and newest SW fan. But love your logic Anakin is indeed a prodigy.

    Heard so much about Shine but not seen it. Love Amaedus. Sucha great film!

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  30. I think it's funny that Anakin did bring balance to the force

    Before Order 66

    Hundreds of Jedi

    vs

    Two sith

    Afterwards

    Two Jedi

    Two Sith

    That's some balance there.

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  31. I thought of Shine as soon as I saw the category! Great film.

    Also...

    Real Genius
    Little Man Tate
    Good Will Hunting

    The Mozart "Twinkle" invention is, sadly, a myth. He didn't actually write the tune but he did write a 12-part variation piece that is absolutely brilliant. He was in his 20s by then. That said, he really was composing by age 5. His earliest works were recorded in his father Leopold's Nanneri Notenbuch.

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  32. Shine looks like an interesting on to watch. Its always sad to see someone brilliant decline but given the circumstances doubly so. Yet despite the set back I'm intrigued to find out what happened. Star Wars Obi Wan, try he does win the hearts of people. Did I say that right? I think speaking backwards is one of his best redeeming qualities!

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  33. Shine sounds intense.
    I hate the idea of shock treatments. It's just wrong.

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  34. I think it's perfect for Valentine's. :)
    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  35. I saw Star Wars! But...that's it. lol

    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  36. I don't know if Mozart was a nut either, but it was so fun to see him portrayed that way. I loved Amadeus, too.

    Also, I love your addition of Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius. It's not his fault the Road Runner and Bugs Bunny were even Superer Geniuses...

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  37. I LOVE the last Star Wars. I think its the best ever. Once I got past the fact of Hans getting killed off. Whoever heard of killing off Harrison Ford? Is nothing sacred?
    Happy Valentines Day, Birgit. Hope its wondrous.

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  38. Hi Birgit. Happy Valentines Day! Hope you had some yummy chocolates. Wiley E. Coyote is a great choice! How do you ever find all these? I like the Star Wars saga too much to find anything negative (excepting the one where Hans gets killed and has a son that bears zero resemblance). I thought the boy in this one was cute and did a fine job, but Hubby would agree with you.

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