We first heard about this movie from my one of Carr's relatives and she loved it, so we thought we'd give it a whirl. I found myself almost not liking the movie for it's incredulity, a lot of amazingly coincidental circumstances and a musical prodigy portrayed as more talented than any of the classical greats. However, as Carr pointed out, it could be that everything that happened to the boy is purely his interpretation of what happened, and in that case is totally acceptable. Who wouldn't imagine themselves as a genius?
It was, in the end, enjoyable with a good message, though I tend to cringe at the fact that the plot revolves around an illicit affair, thus the rating of a 4 and not a 5. Not to say that movies shouldn't focus on reality (as that was, sadly, part of the story that was most real), only as long as it portrays the moral consequences of such actions. I didn't feel that the consequences of fornication were well displayed. Both the parent's suffered emotionally, but not in a way that discouraged such behavior.
My initial and overall response is that I loved it. It had good music and left me with a good feeling. I didn't care much for the parents' story with the immorality issue because although there were negative consequences such as their separation and lost desire to play music, there wasn't regret or acknowledgment of their sinful act. The kid is great and makes you wish you could hear the music like he could instead of just noise. It kind of seemed like a story that he (the kid) dreamt up in order to deal with the reality of being an orphan. That would account for the incredulity of everything. Who hasn't imagined themselves excelling in amazing ways in their areas of interest? It's a fantasy of a child portrayed as reality and I think that's why it touches the heart.
I agree completely with Luke's reasons for rating it a 4. As far as a parent showing this movie to my children though, I would not be the least bit hesitant since there were zero visual images of anything immoral (I even doubted anything really had happened until it was obvious she was pregnant!). It's totally safe in that sense and for that reason I'm ok with giving it a 5. I definitely felt uplifted after watching it, and not just because of the wonderful music. It's a story of hope and encourages not only having dreams, but taking the initiative to make them come true through personal effort, even if it seems impossible.