A serious, if ponderous, biopic that traces a tumultuous ten years in the life of composer Robert Schumann. Schumann's life lurches queasily between the prosaic and the paradisaical (as he turns from the piano to drink, and from his engagement to the titled Ernestine to sex with a serving wench), driven by a dual passion for Clara Wieck (the daughter of his tutor) and music, which seems to be no more than a by-product of a monumental and masochistic selfishness. Schamoni's film is impeccably cast, with Hoppe as Wieck, his damp eyes suggesting incest here as chillingly as they did evil in his portrayal of Goering in Mephisto; Grünemeyer pale and intense as the boy-genius; and Kinski irritatingly placid as Clara. And the director captures perfectly the spirit of a Germany founded equally upon the tenets of stuffy burghers and high-minded student drinking associations, while cinematically echoing the Romantic style of Schumann's music.
Cast and crew