Fast-Paised review: 'Copying Beethoven'

In 1824 Vienna, young, aspiring composer Anna Holtz (Diane Kruger) works as a copyist for Ludwig Van Beethoven (Ed Harris). As they form a friendship, Holtz struggles with her boyfriend and Beethoven clashes with his nephew.

Big question: Can this tale of friendship appeal to viewers who like all musical styles except classical?

Skip it: Between a hurried start and a "that's it?!" ending, the movie mentions "soul" and "God" so many times you'll wonder when the screen became a pulpit. Harris fluctuates between wild and wise, and we never grasp the transition of the music as it makes its way from the deaf composer's head to our ears.

Catch it: If you want to hear the composer use his mouth to simulate passing gas for the dynamic he calls "fartissimo." Classy, Ludwig. Classy.

Bottom line: While Kruger radiates the beauty of the music, "Copying Beethoven" knows as much about the creative process as Beethoven does about snowboarding.

Bonus: Think about what life would be like without the invention of the Xerox machine. Some poor sap could be stuck copying Federline!

Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.

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'Copying Beethoven'

Directed by Agnieszka Holland; written by Stephen J. Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson; photographed by Ashley Rowe; edited by Alex Mackie; production designed by Caroline Amies; non-original music by Ludwig van Beethoven; produced by Sidney Kimmel, Rivele, Michael Taylor, Wilkinson. An MGM release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:44. MPAA rating: PG-13 (for some sexual elements).

Ludwig van Beethoven - Ed Harris

Anna Holtz - Diane Kruger

Martin Bauer - Matthew Goode

Wenzel Schlemmer - Ralph Riach

Karl van Beethoven - Joe Anderson

Mother Canisius - Phyllida Law

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