Life with Music (2019) Review


Henry Cole is a very famous pianist who is struggling with stage fright late in his career and manages to find inspiration with a free-spirited music critic Helen Morrison.


*Original Title – Coda*

Henry Cole is a classical pianist who is coming toward the end of his career, after a long absence from the stage following the death of his wife he quickly discovers that he is not mentally stable enough to be performing and has stage fright. Everything is about to go terribly wrong as an anxiety attack happens while he still on stage and he just manages to get outside after finishing the number.

The thing with this was he then had some press wanting to interview him after and the wondering to why he did not do an encore was something that they asked him about. Considering he had to abruptly run off stage it was never going to be something that he could have got through. During the questions he meets Helen Morrison who is a music critic for The New Yorker and wants to write a story about him, something he refuses.

Fate seems to be different to his attitude towards the interview when he meets her again a few days later at Steinway Hall. He suffers again while attempting to perform and she rescues him and therefore he agrees to the interview. His agent Paul is really trying to push the comeback tour with a final concert in London, but with Henry’s mental condition continuing to decline this was going to be a huge task.

The film moves at quite a slow pace but that was essential to tell the story and build up the character of Henry so we could attempt to understand what he was feeling about everything. How his agent was trying to help but not always in the best manner. Then the friendship with Helen giving him a new perspective on life.

It is all about the incredible performance from Patrick Stewart who is given a fantastic role to play and really get a chance to show off his incredible acting skills within the film. A tortured soul who is struggling towards the end of his life and wondering what is actually the point in everything, I am sure we have all felt like that at a much younger age as well. It really was a joy to watch an actor of his calibre take this on. Giancarlo Esposito also put in a very impressive performance as Paul and I really enjoyed the scenes shared between the pair. Katie Holmes was decent enough and worked well with Stewart.

It is not very often we are given older characters like this and it certainly raises the question about how you might feel as you get older and can no longer do the things you once loved and enjoyed. But it also gives you hope that you should never actually give up on those things you loved doing and with a little bit of self care and adaptation you could manage any issues.

Digital Download Release Date: 27th July 2020
Distributor: Blue Finch Film Releasing
Digital Platforms: iTunes, Amazon, Google, Sky, Virgin, Rakuten and Chili

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