Gary Oldman, Beethoven, tragic love story... pretty much a foolproof recipe. Fortunately, Bernard Rose is no fool (though Candyman is pretty foolish), so the film outstrips mere competence and goes to some fairly sublime places. True, it often feels like Amadeus-lite, but the Citizen Kane-esque plot and the ways it attempts to get into the composer's head (which was never a goal of the Forman film) help to set it apart. And its integration of Beethoven's music with Rose's camera provides for some singularly magnificent moments: the 9th Symphony sequence is pretty jaw-dropping, and I'd forgotten about Napoleon's 5th Symphony-accompanied assault on Vienna. The film does feel a bit hurried, especially in the first half; a more leisurely pace would have suited it better (although, again, maybe I'm just unfairly comparing it to Amadeus).