Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) has always had a passion for playing and writing music but like with all artists needs must and so he took as a job teaching to support him and his wife whilst dedicating his free time to composing the great piece of music he always felt capable of. But as with many people plans don't always go to plan and the birth of a child causes Mr. Holland to focus more on paying bills whilst his free time became family time, not always an easy thing. But Mr. Holland's passion for music makes a difference in a lot of people's lives; from the students who enter his classroom to his own family leading Mr. Holland to realise success is not always achieving what you planned.
I have a list, it is a list of movies which over the years I missed when they were on the big screen but received praise from all quarters and it seems that it is a list which grows bigger and bigger despite slowly working my way through them. Sadly many of those additions from recent years which receive high praise rarely entertain like I expect but for me the sweet spot has been movies from the 90s. Maybe it is because being in my 20s during the 90s and really becoming passionate about cinema that these movies connect with me greater than later movies but as such rarely does one of these movies disappoint and "Mr. Holland's Opus" doesn't disappoint one iota as it is a movie of many parts.
Now as is my usual with movies which are at the top of my scale I believe the less you know the better they are before. So to give you a glimpse of what you get in "Mr. Holland's Opus". We get some typical teacher student drama, the sort where a teacher with a passion makes a difference in their lives. We also have a story which traverses many years and we see how some of those students died fighting in Vietnam. But we also have family drama as something happens in the Holland household which causes issues and tensions between Glenn and his wife and their son.
But the thing about "Mr. Holland's Opus" is that whilst we have this story which sees Mr. Holland help children we also see how his life changes, how frustrations came in when his plans never seem to work out how he had hoped. As I said there is a lot more to "Mr. Holland's Opus" than just another inspirational teacher movie and so much credit must go to Richard Dreyfuss for delivering such a captivating performance bringing the frustrations of the character to life but also his passion and compassion.
What this all boils down to is that "Mr. Holland's Opus" is one of those movies which no matter who you are, young or old, movie fan or not will have something to connect with and as such is a must see movie. And the most amazing thing is that despite being close on 2 and a half hours it never once feels like it is dragging its feet.