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Copying Beethoven

  PG-13 HD Closed Captioning

Agnieszka Holland

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Plot Summary

Young Vienna Music Conservatory student and aspiring composer finds her destiny forever interlinked with a legendary classical musician when she accepts a job as a copyist for Ludwig von Beethoven. In desperate need of a copyist to complete Beethoven (Ed Harris)’s “Ninth Symphony”, Beethoven’s ailing publisher Herr Schlemmer enlists the aid of ambitious student Anna Holz (Diane Kruger); who readily accepts the job despite an explicit warning that the composer is a callous wretch. As Anna begins to arduously copy Beethoven's career-defining work, her kindness causes the composer to view their collaboration as a blessing that will enable him to produce some of the most sublime music ever created. After thoughtlessly deriding Anna’s own compositions and causing the sensitive assistant to abandon their collaboration, Beethoven must track her down and convince her to stay and work with him instead of moving to Vienna to marry Martin. Anna is forced to choose between love and duty.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 81
  • Fresh: 23
  • Rotten: 58
  • Average Rating: 4.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: Beethoven turns out to be like every obnoxious self-absorbed creative type you've ever met – Luke Y. Thompson, Village Voice, Jun 18, 2007

Rotten: You may walk out of Copying Beethoven humming the movie. But that's not the same as singing its praises. – Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov 11, 2006

Rotten: It was audacious of the filmmakers to imagine they could build a story and characters around the creation of the Ninth Symphony that would play as dramatically as the music. – Jack Mathews, New York Daily News, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: ...Tin-eared script and tone-deaf direction sabotages a fortissimo performance by Ed Harris in the title role. – Lou Lumenick, New York Post, Jul 16, 2008

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Love Beethoven but….

This movie is no where near what Beethoven's life was like. Make a movie that actually expresses what Beethoven's life may have really been like. He never had any luck with girls. This movie is totally fake.

Great movie, if you know nothing about history and Beethoven

The film has phenomenal music and beautiful scenes. But these aesthetics cannot overcome the myriad of historical inaccuracies -- not to mention the shallow, grossly-exaggerated personality of Beethoven himself. This movie creates a ridiculous quasi-love story between Beethoven and Anna (who never actually existed), and this relationship somehow is the driving force behind the Ninth Symphony. The film, meanwhile, ignores the historical and noble reasons of why Beethoven actually created his Ninth; instead, the film focuses on the superficial, passionate, unruly emotions of Beethoven and the necessary intervention of kind Anna as his saving grace. We as the audience thus lose much of Beethoven’s true character as well as the historical and philosophical significance of the Ninth because the director decided that an eccentric, bipolar, half-deaf, half-developed Beethoven was a better fit for HER movie.

Kudos to Beethoven for actually being FULLY-deaf when he wrote the Ninth.

Love it

Best classical music movie ever

Copying Beethoven
View In iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2006

Customer Ratings