10 September 2006

Shine (1996)

lq vhs movie stills - screenshots - captures - photo gallery plus dvd covers and or posters of:

Shine (1996)

  • A father whose life was his family. A son whose music was his life.
  • A true story of the mystery of music and the miracle of love.
Plot synopsis:
In "Shine," director Scott Hicks and writer Jan Sardi unfold an unconventional biopic about how a brilliant young pianist is driven to the edge of madness by his monstrously protective father and, as an adult, finds unexpected redemption thanks to an astonishingly understanding woman. Pic opens dramatically with the deranged, manically voluble David, played as an adult by Geoffrey Rush, stumbling into a restaurant during a violent rainstorm and befriending a waitress (Sonia Todd). Flashbacks depict David as a boy (Alex Rafalowicz) in the '50s, already a child prodigy, and the pride and joy of his demanding father, Peter Helfgott (Mueller-Stahl), a Polish Jew whose family was wiped out in the Holocaust.

Like the most ambitious stage parent, Peter drives his son to achieve greatness as a pianist, but is too proud, and too poor, to give him the tuition he clearly needs until persuaded to place him in the hands of the first of four mentors, music teacher Ben Rosen (Nicholas Bell).

Traditionalist Peter distrusts Rosen because he's unmarried and therefore lacks a family life; though he obviously adores his son, the father's stiff-necked, rigid authoritarianism gradually alienates and eventually terrifies the sensitive boy. When David wins a local competition and is awarded his prize by no less than Isaac Stern, he receives an offer to study in America, which his father promptly vetoes.

As an increasingly eccentric teenager, now played by Noah Taylor, David is befriended by an elderly writer, Katharine Prichard (Googie Withers, delightful). With her encouragement, he wins a scholarship to study at the London College of Music; again, his father refuses to allow him to leave Australia. This time, David defies him.

Under the tutelage of Professor Cecil Parkes (a lovely performance from 91 -year-old Gielgud), David blossoms and is able to perform a supremely difficult concerto by Rachmaninoff. But, at the moment of his triumph, he collapses onstage and, rejected by his father, spends 15 years in a psychiatric hospital, undergoing shock treatment and unable to play his beloved piano.

The last act of this extraordinary bio intros Gillian (Redgrave), a middle-aged astrologer and divorcee who meets David by chance and eventually marries him, giving him the support and encouragement he needs to resume his concert career. [source: David Stratton, variety.com]

Directed by
Scott Hicks


Geoffrey Rush .... David as an Adult
Justin Braine .... Tony
Sonia Todd .... Sylvia
Chris Haywood .... Sam
Alex Rafalowicz .... David as a Child
Gordon Poole .... Eisteddfod Presenter

Armin Mueller-Stahl .... Peter
Nicholas Bell .... Ben Rosen
Danielle Cox .... Suzie as a child
Rebecca Gooden .... Margaret
Marta Kaczmarek .... Rachel
John Cousins .... Jim Minogue

Noah Taylor .... David as an Adolescent
Paul Linkson .... State Champion Announcer
Randall Berger .... Isaac Stern
Ian Welbourne .... Boy Next Door
Kelly Bottrill .... Louise as a baby
Beverley Vaughan .... Rabbi
Phyllis Burford .... Synagogue Secretary
Daphne Grey .... Society Hostess
Edwin Hodgeman .... Soviet Society Secretary
Googie Withers .... Katharine Susannah Prichard
Maria Dafnero .... Sonia
Reis Porter .... Postman
Stephen Sheehan .... Roger Woodward (younger)
Brenton Whittle .... Announcer
Marianna Doherty .... Suzie as a teenager
Camilla James .... Louise as a child

John Gielgud .... Cecil Parkes
David King .... Viney
Danny Davies .... Registrar
Helen Dowell .... Sarah
Louise Dorling .... Muriel
Sean Carlsen .... Student
Richard Hansell .... Ashley
Robert Hands .... Robert
Marc Warren .... Ray
Neil Thomson .... RCOM Conductor
Joey Kennedy .... Suzie as an adult
Ellen Cressey .... Nurse
Beverley Dunn .... Beryl Ascott
Andy Seymour .... Bar Customer

Lynn Redgrave .... Gillian
Ella Scott Lynch .... Jessica
Jethro Heysen-Hicks .... Rowan
John Martin .... Roger Woodward (older)
Bill Boyley .... Celebrant
Teresa La Rocca .... Opera singer
Lindsey Day .... Opera singer
Grant Doyle .... Opera singer
Leah Jennings .... Musician
Kathy Monaghan .... Musician
Mark Lawrence .... Musician
Gordon Coombes .... Musician
Luke Dollman .... Musician
Margaret Stone .... Musician
Tom Carrig .... Musician
Helen Ayres .... Musician
Suzi Jarratt .... Vocalist
Samantha McDonald .... Vocalist
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Sandy Gardiner .... Restaurant Customer (uncredited)
Peter Osborn .... Priest (uncredited)
Louise Siversen .... Extra in ballroom scene (uncredited)