Picks and Pans Review: The Immortal Beethoven
Mozart had his day with Amadeus. Now it's Beethoven's turn to get his due. And get his due he does with this super bio narrated by Peter Ustinov at his classiest and written by Israela Margalit, one of the many musicians who add just the right amount of wonderful music to these two hours. The bio is properly respectful of Beethoven's genius and answers all the necessary curiosities about his life—his childhood, his meetings with Goethe, Haydn and Salieri and his 14-year decline into deafness. But it also gives us a breathing Beethoven, telling us about his typical days, his sloppy homes and lousy personal hygiene, his trouble with women, his progressive politics, his ego. "He mourned the deaths of just two people," Ustinov says, "his mother and, oh, himself."