So, many people have seen the great film Immortal Beloved. This film stars Gary Oldman as Beethoven. The film begins with Schindler finding out about the Immortal Beloved woman in the composer’s last will and testament.
The film got into hot water with musicologists. Bernard Rose claimed that he had identified the Immortal Beloved woman as Johanna van Beethoven, his sister-in-law. Lewis Lockwood points out this grave error on the film director’s part in an article in The Musical Quarterly entitled “Film Biography as Travesty: Immortal Beloved and Beethoven.”
Who Was the Immortal Beloved?
We’ll likely never know who the immortal beloved woman was that was in Beethoven’s personal writings. However, there has been some speculation that it could have been Giulietta Guicciardi, Thérèse von Brunswick, Josephine Brunsvik, Antonie Brentano, and Anna-Marie Erdödy.
The Ludwig Van Beethoven Movie: What Did People Think?
A lot of people didn’t appreciate Immortal Beloved. Some people claimed that this move on Beethoven’s life was pure speculation and lacked the energy and enthusiasm of Amadeus. However, Roger Ebert really enjoyed this film. He gave it 3.5/4 stars and gave the film this glowing critique:
“Immortal Beloved has clearly been made by people who feel Beethoven directly in their hearts.”
But there were several scholarly issues with this movie. Bernard Rose was the film’s writer and director. He kind of missed the mark from a scholarly perspective, and overall, didn’t do a really good job of explaining the historical context right.
Many critics thought that this was Gary Oldman’s best performance. Josh Winning of Total Film claimed that this was one of the five best performances of Beethoven’s career.