if this is a movie about abuse, then the message is more than questionable: the toxic relationship between Andrew and his teacher culminates in Andrew achieving "greatness" through succumbing to abuse, because "hard work" obviously implies crawling out of a fucking car crash and just getting over yourself. but it's a well-made movie, i guess.
This is a prime piece of storytelling in the best traditions. A story about fathers & sons, talent & hard work, ego and humility. The performances match the script and there is a strong dramatic tension from the outset that never relinquishes. It is not a totally 'realistic' film in that the script is so tight, there is no room for deviation, and this works in its favour. A classic chamber piece of film - jazz style.