I came into the world of Immortal Beloved very late in the game. I had been meaning to see it for years, to see what Gary Oldman did with the epic maestro, but I never got around to it. Then, one summer night in 2005, I had a long conversation about the film with a friend of mine. Instead of the normal, surface recommendation one is apt to get in cases like these, his eyes lit up as he began to list off the reasons I should see it. He didn't just vaguely like it; the film stuck with him and inspired him. He talked about how wonderfully the film portrayed Ludwig van Beethoven's music, and he sent me on my way to discover one particularly moving scene for myself.
Since he wouldn't tell me about this moment until I had seen the movie, I had assumed there would be one obvious and moving scene that stuck out above the others. Instead, I was faced with a partly true, partly fictional biopic that presented a number of well-crafted moments that matched perfectly to Beethoven's work. But really, they do not so much match his music, as live it. Many films can team music with a certain mood, but few actually embody the life of the music itself -- the story that it is telling. This film is a doorway into the world of symphonies -- not to notice their power, but to take the first step towards recognizing the story being told by the collection of notes.