Spring Symphony

Movie Information

In Brief: Reasonably accurate account (with a modicum of subtext that's so slight as to be almost nonexistent) of the early years of composer Robert Schumann (Herbert Groenemeyer) and Clara Wieck (Nasstassja Kinski). Spring Symphony (1983) is the sort of biopic that gives biopics a bad name. It runs no risks and is so intent not to offend anyone that it barely seems to exist as a movie in its own right — and ends up feeling like some sort of ephemeral TV special. Apart from Kinski, most of the cast is unlikely to be known to U.S. audiences. Herbert Groenemeyer, who plays Schumann, is, frankly, a pudding-faced bore and scarcely able to carry a film, much less convince us of either his genius or his passion for young Clara. It's not sanitized exactly like a 1940s Hollywood biopic, but it's certainly bland. Worst of all, though, is the fact that it has absolutely no feeling for the music. It's sometimes nice to look at, and (I guess) it gets points as a safe thumbnail sketch, but that's faint praise for this pedestrian movie. This excerpt was drawn from a review by Ken Hanke published on Jan. 5, 2016.
Genre: Biopic
Director: Peter Schamoni
Starring: Nastassja Kinski, Rolf Hoppe, Herbert Gronemeyer, Anja-Christine Preussler, Edda Seippel
Rated: PG-13

The Hendersonville Film Society will show Spring Symphony on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community, 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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