The critics who called for Russell to have a "stake driven into his heart" for The Music Lovers need to blow some dust off their brains, rewatch it, and then resign. Its handling of fame, repression, opportunism and madness is peerless, with sequences so stunning they nearly knock the wind out of you. Chamberlain didn't quite have the skills that his role required but Jackson's brilliance is certifiably terrifying.
Fecund and thunderous, this is a high peak of Russellism: broad of metaphor and wide of parody. It doesn't play entirely fair with the subtleties of Tchaikovsky's life, although the cloying claustrophobia of his various hangers-on, like bees around the proverbial honeypot, is keenly captured (the raison d'etre of the film). Nevertheless it's energising to the eye and ear, with enormously fantastic swoops and troughs.
Gran película sobre un gran compositor. Turbulenta biografía que reúne a un grupo de personajes atormentados, trastocados por sus obsesiones y represiones. Es el compositor sexualmente reprimido, la esposa pasional y la mecenas obsesiva. Todo esto compone una tragedia. Es el alcance efímero de las fantasías de estos personajes, las que más adelante serán extinguidas por su pasado y frustraciones. Todos condenados.
The one film, Rusell's exuberance aside I'd say is his most prestigious work. It's also one of the meanest films I've ever seen. The tortured artist trope has been used dozens of times but the contrasts between fairy tale highs and and mentally ill lows has never been more abrupt, Russell's later composer biopics would somewhat lose sight of the artists work but here art and reality juxtapose in a dizzying fashion.