Copying Beethoven is a dramatic film released in 2006 and directed by Agnieszka Holland. Even the film is about Ludwig van Beethoven’s (Ed Harris) last years. And traumas he has been living, there is another leading role, Beethoven’s beautiful and young copyist Anna Holtz (Diane Kruger).
“The artist is the one who has learned to trust himself.”
As a summary:
Vienna of 1824. Ludwig van Beethoven is trying to raise the 9th symphony. Anna Holtz, a 23-year-old best student for copying her compositions, comes to the rescue. Evaluated as incompetent because she is both young and woman. Anna proves her worth by helping Beethoven both for her success in copying and for orchestra directing. Beethoven is now deaf.
Anna has the opportunity to learn something from her by staying with the famous composer. And has an indispensable place in the life of this magnificent man. In time, Anna will be forced to choose between Martin (Matthew Goode) and Beethoven, who have been together for a long time, and will be choosing Beethoven to pursue being a famous composer whose dream is her own.
“I have constant voices in my head. Never stops. I can just relax by typing these voices. God is filling my mind with music. So what’s he doing then? He’s making me deaf. I enjoy the taste that everyone grants me, I can not hear my works. This loving god, is it? “
At first, the film starts with the challenges of celebrated musical publisher Wenzel Schlemmer trying to find a copyist for Beethoven for the 9th Symphony. What is forcing him was that no one could handle this aggressive, messy and mad man for a long time. That is why he asks for recommendation and it is the point we see Anna Holtz who was recommended for the position. But she is refused at first by being a “lady” but afterwards she proves herself.
She becomes both the copist and the assistant of Beethoven, and mostly is facing rude attitudes. Even if she tries her patience, she keeps the belief of him teaching her how to make a beautiful music. After his attitudes, only thing Beethoven says to her is “I am a difficult person but I take comfort that God made me that way.”
Anna is engaged to Martin Bauer (Matthew Goode), a science and technology-lover engineer. While working with Beethoven, she meets his nephew Karl, a young man having little interest in music. Beethoven mistakenly believes that Karl is a musical prodigy but in fact all Karl really wants is to get cash for gambling.
The copyist tries really hard to create her own music and finally she gets the chance to show the composer, the response is shattering. He sees himself on a spiritual mission to share God’s language with the world but in reality, he has not progressed very far in terms of treating people with loving respect. And once he confesses to Anna: “Loneliness is my religion.”
It’s really fun watching Ed Harris, who plays crazy Beethoven’s very successful role. Especially the stage he directs the orchestra really makes Beethoven feel like watching live. It was a film that fans of the both 9th symphony and the classical music should watch. It was a very satisfying film in terms of acting, music and script.
It is worth remembering that Anna Holtz is a fictional character, and in fact there is no such assistant beside Beethoven. The director Agnieszka Holland is grateful that both women touch on the problems they are experiencing and the spectators have the opportunity to watch such a magnificent artwork.