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Mozart & The Whale (Widescreen) (2006)

Josh Hartnett , Radha Mitchell , Petter Næss  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)

List Price: $9.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Josh Hartnett, Radha Mitchell, Gary Cole, Sheila Kelley, Erica Leerhsen
  • Directors: Petter Næss
  • Writers: Ronald Bass
  • Producers: Andreas Thiesmeyer, Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson, Danny Dimbort, Frank DeMartini
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 12, 2006
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000J10KO6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,462 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mozart & The Whale (Widescreen)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by writer Ron Bass

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This quirky, low-key romantic drama delves into the lives of a group of misfits intent of fitting into a world that views them as strange, demented, and (at times) retarded. A fictionalized account of a real-life couple with Asperger's Syndrome--a disorder characterized by repetitive behavior patterns and impairments in social situations--Mozart & the Whale follows the lives of shy Donald (Josh Harnett) and outgoing Isabelle (Radha Mitchell). Donald is a mathematical genius who takes things literally. Isabelle is a stunning beauty whose inability to take minor suggestions causes her to run from one relationship after another. When the two begin dating, she is the aggressor, even cleaning his pig sty of an apartment. "You can't disappoint me," she tells Donald. "Because whatever you are is exactly what I want." The movie has some sweet moments, but doesn't spend enough time delving into the challenges of being part of an Asperger's couple. The problems that they have in their relationship (insecurity, commitment and communication problems) really aren't that different from that of your "normal" couple. Hartnett and Mitchell give convincing portrayals of a complicated pair, but the film's lukewarm storyline ultimately isn't as compelling as the stars' acting abilities. --Jae-Ha Kim

Product Description

Starring Josh Hartnett and Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill, Pitch Black), Mozart and the Whale is a heartwarming, romantic drama inspired by the true story of two people with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, whose emotional dysfunctions threaten to sabotage their budding romance. Donald (Hartnett) is a good-natured but hapless taxi driver with a love of birds and a superhuman knack for numbers. Like many AS sufferers, he likes patterns and routines. But when the beautiful but complicated Isabelle (Mitchell) joins the autism support group he leads, his life-- and his heart -- are turned upside down.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice love story that sugarcoats Asperger's December 3, 2008
Format:DVD
Yes even autistic people want love and happy endings according to this sweet, often over-sugared romance about two people with Asperger's Syndrome who find they can live without their tics but not without each other.
Josh Hartnett delivers a strongish performance as the man obsessed with numbers (Rain Man lite) who lives in a crummy apartment with several birds and their waste products.
Radha Mitchell, though lovely, delivers a soft performance as the gal he loves. Her Aspberger's manifests itself in a weird barking laugh delivered at regular intervals and a hatred of the sound of metal clanging against metal.
This movie is laudable in that it tries to explain the lives of people born without the ability to relate to others in socially-accepted ways. Its problem is that it pretends the condition can be solved with a Hollywood-style ending. It trivializes the problem and reduces it to a few carefully calculated movie tics without ever penetrating the minds of its characters.
It's not unpleasant or objectionable -- just thin.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mozart & the Whale November 30, 2006
Format:DVD
I attended a viewing of this movie with my daughter and my friend. My reason for going was for my grandson, who has Aspergers. I found this to be very uplifting, rewarding and a little sad at times. But it is a relief to know that my grandson has a very bright future ahead of him. We also had a chance to meet Jerry, who was very entertaining and really put my fears at ease. I would suggest this movie for anyone, so they can become more informed on the subject of Aspergers.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Asperger's is more complicated that this March 7, 2011
Format:DVD
My teenage son has Asperger's so I know what it's like and Josh Harnett's portrayal is quite convincing. But everyone else's is an exaggeration. It was pretty annoying when the group is together. I've read enough about Asperger's to know that most people with Asperger's which is actually high-functioning autism, don't act like lunatics or mentally-retarded. Most of them are actually brilliant and mild-mannered. It's mostly a problem of a social disconnection, inability to read people, and interact in manners that come naturally to most people. In reality, people with Asperger's aren't that noticeable. Before that label was used, people just called them nerds or eccentric. What I think happened here is that the writer/s picked out the glaring characteristics of Asperger's and assigned them to the actors. It looked like a circus. Even my son couldn't stand watching it.

The movie was interesting enough and I'm sure some people with Asperger's can identify with some of the characters' traits. The problem between Donald and Isabelle are not unique to people with this condition though, it happens with every couple. The storyline could've been better.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You stole my life!" December 15, 2006
By Konrei
Format:DVD
Based on a true story, MOZART AND THE WHALE is a "little" film, a romantic comedy-drama starring Josh Hartnett and the lovely Radha Mitchell, who, as always, is better than expected. Mitchell and Hartnett star as Isabel ("Mozart") and Donald ("The Whale"), two high-functioning individuals diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autistic spectrum disorder, who meet at an Asperger's social group started by Donald, and fall in love.

The normal stresses and strains of a relationship are magnified by their disabilities. While Isabel is the more neurotypical, she is emotionally volatile and fearful of relationships. Not surprisingly, she is an artist and a musician. Certain sounds and emotional stressors can bring on bouts of self-stimulatory rocking, narcissism, and histrionics. Donald is less well-adapted, but is more forgiving even while being less flexible. When under stress he reverts to a savant habit of making complex but pointless mathematical calculations, lives in a filthy house, and becomes distraught over changes to his routines.

Written by the screenwriter of RAIN MAN, MOZART AND THE WHALE is sensitively handled and treats its characters respectfully. Hartnett and Mitchell each give Oscar-caliber performances as Isabel and Donald, striking just the right tones. It would have been easy (but dishonest) to play the leads freakishly, but both Mitchell and Hartnett bring out the essential, sympathetic humanity of Isabel and Donald, even while they subtlely exhibit the difficulties of living with Asperger's. Moreover, they play the characters very differently, underscoring the wide range of behaviors common to Asperger's Disorder.

Playful and poignant by turns, MOZART AND THE WHALE is well worth your time and effort.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth seeing November 29, 2006
Format:DVD
Good performances, especially by Josh Hartnett, and some of it rings very true: there were a lot of things I recognized in here, as the mom of an Aspie girl. The music choices were problematic, and the film was sort of muddy-looking, but it was intelligent and worthwhile, and it offered a broader idea of autism than is usually seen in movies.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but lovable, just like it's characters. April 19, 2007
Format:DVD
This has become my favorite romantic comedy ever. I watched it twice yesterday, the second time with the commentary track (which is rather sparse, but does give one insight into the production of the movie).

I have a very high functioning autistic son, and I totally "get" the characters in this movie. Sure, some of them are rather one dimensional, but this movie is only a bit over 90 minutes long, and most of the time had to be spent developing the relationship between Donald and Isabelle. I wish this movie could have been longer with even more character development and background, especially for the Isabelle character.

I was immediately impressed with Josh Hartnett's convincing acting right from the get-go, but I had a little trouble with the Isabelle character played by Radha Mitchell. I thought she was just too "Hollywood pretty" and together to be a believable person with Asperger's Syndrome. However, I got accustomed to her looks (easy enough to do) and I realized that her character was very plausable. Some people with autism just radiate their autism all the time, but others may seem to be just a little quirky or eccentric until an event happens that triggers an unusual reaction.

The Isabelle character seemed to be an individual who had likely been through a lot of therapy (that's the character development I wish we had more of) and had developed an advanced ability to introspect and manage her Asperger's Syndrome, but she had her unique vulnerabilities which surfaced in response to certain trigger events.

Some might say that this movie didn't give a realistic enough picture of autism and Asperger's Syndrome, but perhaps if it did it wouldn't be a comedy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This aspie loved it.
It's a comedy, so exaggeration comes with the territory, as do flattened, simplistic supporting characters. The very short length makes for a lean, streamlined story. Read more
Published 19 days ago by suso903
1.0 out of 5 stars Title says it all - very illogical and over acted
Title says it all - very illogical and over acted. Mozart was from landlocked Austria so never met a whale in real life.
Published 1 month ago by Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I didn't know that Autistic kids could fall in love.
Published 2 months ago by Watson
4.0 out of 5 stars cute
A little slow at times, but endearing story ... some cliches about people with autism nicely elaborated upon without too much pendantics
Published 4 months ago by L. Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars very insightful
In was a very well written movie and gave a good look at this type of autism. Excellent movie. Good performance from Josh!
Published 5 months ago by JULI
5.0 out of 5 stars Very REAL portrayal of Aspergers
My son has Asperger's and where there are many movies about it, this is one of the many that I found to be down to earth and easy to digest. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sue
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay
Although the movie is a welcome introduction to Aspberger's it just doesn't hit the personality right. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Louis Ivan Molnar
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE
THIS MOVIE HAS BECOME ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE MOVIES. GIVES THE VIEWER A PERFECT WIDE LENS VIEW OF ADULTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS.
Published 7 months ago by L.R.
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute and entertaining way to develop a greater compassion for those...
My husband and I watched this with our 17 year old daughter. She was especially filled with compassion for the "whale's" distraction with numbers. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Arlette
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent
This is a must see for anyone who has or has a relative or someone they know with a mental disability. It was very well acted and told their story in a very incitelful way.
Published 8 months ago by Tilley
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asperger's movie
This is more like it! I am sick and tired of the prodigious savant stereotype as that form of autism affects under 10% of the autistic population.

Asperger's is an issue near and dear to my heart and I salute the people who a) wrote the story and b) were responsible for the creation of... Read More
Jan 24, 2009 by BeatleBangs1964 |  See all 2 posts
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