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The true story of a gifted Australian piano prodigy, this biographical drama was nominated for seven Oscars, with actor Geoffrey Rush winning for Best Actor. Rush stars as David Helfgott, a pianist with a history of mental problems. As a fragile boy genius at math, chess, and piano, David is driven hard by his overbearing father (Armin Mueller-Stahl), a tyrant who forbids him to accept a scholarship offered by the great violinist Isaac Stern. Although he studies briefly in London under tutor Cecil Parks (John Gielgud), David has a nervous breakdown after performing Rachmaninoff's daunting… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Shine beams with warmth, sensitivity, and fine taste, but some of that illumination is the work of our own reflector lamps."
‑ Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"Inspired by the real story of classical pianist David Helfgott, "Shine" re-creates that emotionally piercing story, note by memorable note."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Intense, gripping mental-illness music drama."
‑ Charles Cassady, Common Sense Media
"Inspiring, memorable cinema."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"A tremendous biopic about overcoming the odds. It's what 'A Beautiful Mind' wants to grow up to be."
‑ Widgett Walls,
"[Helfgott's] extraordinary life is intelligently charted here, and the three actors who play him at different stages are all exceptional."
‑ David Stratton, Variety
"Shine has a story to reckon with and powerhouse male performances."
‑ , USA Today
"With the exception of a few overwrought scenes, Hicks' Australian biopic of pianist David Helfgott, which caused a bidding war at the 1996 Sundance Fest, is fresh and emotionally stirring without being sentimental or cliched."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"I declare "Shine" to be the best film of the year!"
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Australia's gift to the movie world this year is a shimmering jewel called Shine."
‑ Margaret A. McGurk, Cincinnati Enquirer
"Compassionate, deft, unsentimental, inspirational."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"His life story is not exactly as it is shown here, but close enough, I gather, for us to marvel at the way the human spirit can try to heal itself."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The movie is really an Oscar sandwich -- stale bread surrounding a big piece of ham: Geoffrey Rush."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"God save us from yet another holy fool movie. Geoffrey Rush has been much better."
‑ Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium
"Pays tribute to the important role of soul-friends in the nurturing of one's creative talents."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for Shine on Rotten Tomatoes