Clipped from CA, Manitoba, Winnipeg, Winnipeg Free Press, October 5, 1984

Amadeus strikes delightful chordAmadeus is simply the best U.S. film released in 198*5. It is a vibrant, bold, ambitious adaptation of the hit stage play that succeeds on its own merits, rather than relying on the reputation of its theatrical counterpart.The film, as with the play, concerns the confrontation between two musicians of the late 18th century. Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) is the court musician of Emperor Joseph II of Austria, adored and coddled by Viennese society. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) is the somewhat avant-garde composer who is respected and tolerated rather than embraced by the art patrons.'Two centuries have cemented Mozart’s place in history and closed the door on Salieri. And in Peter Shaffer’s newly-defined screenplay based on his own stage piece, the irony, envy and treachery in Salieri’s frustration and contempt finds new clarity, definition and power.The thrust of the drama comes from Salieri, an accomplished if mediocre composer of fanfares, marchesMoviesLeonardKladyAMADEUS— Directed by Milos Forman; produced by Saul Zaentz, A» the Odeon. Mature. F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berrldae, Simon Callow, Roy Dotrice, Christine Ebersole, Jeff Jonesand tuneful trivialities. He recognizes artistic virtuosity. And while all about him at court are applauding his work and sniggering at Mozart’s, he knows the truth of each man’s musical worth and longevity.Salieri sets out to ruin his youthful, callous rival. And as the film begins, many years later, he has outlived Mozart by more than three decades. Each new day has brought the torture of seeing his life’s work disappear.Half-mad, the wizened former court maestro tells a priest in the asylum where he resides how he conspired tokill Mozart. At first his words are met with no more than dutiful attention. However, slowly the full horror cannot be ignored.Salieri has devised his own carefully constructed excuse to justify his past deeds. He retells how in his youth he adopted chastity in exchange for musical greatness and how his early prayers were indeed answered. He knew in his heart that all musicians were kindred spirits because they shared a common God-given gift.So, his first encounter with Mozart, someone he has admired from afar, is nothing short of disturbing. Rather than a paragon of virtue, he discovers a wanton, uncouth, strutting man-child. For Salieri the contrast of music and demeanor simply does not fit. He is at a loss to explain this impossible union.What the mediocre maestro cannot deny is the God-given nature of Mozart's talent. Yet, this buffoon is totally unworthy and Salieri begins to believe he has been entrusted with correcting this obvious error.The Italian composer’s religious altruism is not without subtle cracks in its logic. He believes, for instance, that if God will not provide him the talent to render great music, he is at least owed a composition by Mozart.So, Salieri wants it all. He actively, . if quietly, works to discredit Mozart and simultaneously attempts to worm his way into his confidence. Somehow, Salieri feels he will snatch a bit of his greatness before the former musical prodigee’s fortunes disappear and he physically expires.Amadeus is a film of grand emotions and gestures. Director Milos Forman with Shaffer has taken the intimacy of the stage production and turned it around. The canvas is now huge and complete with Dolby stereo. The effect is dazzling.Amadeus is as close to a perfectly orchestrated film as one could hope for —an instant classic and a must see for movie-goers.'MORE ENTERTAINMENT/35