From his cell in an asylum, composer Antonio Salieri makes a confession: he was responsible for the death of Mozart. Salieri begins his tale an embittered man, railing at God for giving talent to such an obscene child
So, even at 153 minutes, the version of Amadeus that swept the Oscars back in 1985 wasn’t the Director’s Cut?
It was sublime then, and it’s perfection now. Mostly, the new material extends the opera scenes, allowing Mozart’s music (the very heart of the film) to truly shine.
An additional confrontation between Salieri and Mozart’s loving young wife, Constanze — in which the hack composer underlines his powerful standing by tricking her into stripping for him — strengthens her character and makes their battle for Mozart’s soul all the more dramatic.
Hulce’s Mozart overflows with vitality until his genius literally drives him to exhaustion. It’s a crime that Abraham was never again offered a role of these dimensions, because, on this occasion at least, he is blessed with the very talent that his character so fatally lacks.
Shaffers play is one of the best ever to grace the stage. Its visual and aural translation to the screen offers glittering details and dizzying depths.