I decided to borrow this 2014 DVD because it stars Chloe Grace Moretz and because it is based on Gayle Forman’s best-selling novel about a 17-year-old gifted cellist.
Mia (Moretz) has a bright future and an adoring boyfriend (Jamis Blackley), but when unexpected tragedy hits, everything changes for Mia in the blink of an eye and she finds herself caught between life and death. But one fateful day, Mia must make a final heart-wrenching decision that will determine her future: let go and move on to whatever comes next, or stay with the love of her life. It is an emotionally powerful journey as she makes the ultimate choice.
My attention was captured from the very first scene in the movie : Mia narrated that “At the age of 26, Ludwig van Beethoven went deaf, ending his career as a successful concert pianist, but he was determined not to let a little thing like his hearing end his music career. He became a composer, which turned out to suit him. It’s like the other saying: Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”
I also like all the other scenes involving music: Mia practising the cello, the mention of Yo-Yo Ma, a Juilliard audition, a Beethoven sonata, the favourite Austrian music-maker Franz Schubert, the C-G-D-A strings of the cello and terms like glissando, pizzicato and forte, and a recital by a solo cellist. Mia was bred to be a rocker, but she chose Beethoven and the cello. (Her father quit his band to buy a cello for her because of her talent.)
The many songs and pieces in the movie are a big bonus – everything from rock, punk and ballads to classical works. Some examples are songs by Alice Cooper, Issy Pop, Williamette Stone and Beyonce. There is even the traditional Auld Lang Syne. Classical pieces include Allegro Ma Non Tanto by Beethoven, Suite No 1 in G Major for Solo Cello BMV 1007 (Prelude) by J. S. Bach, Sonata in B Minor for Solo Cello Op 8 by Zoltan Kodaly, Brandenburg Concerto by J. S. Bach, The Swan from ‘The Carnival of the Animals’ by Camille Saint-Saens and Cello Concerto in A Minor Op 33 by Saint-Saens. My favourite is of course The Swan. There is even an original song called ‘Today Is The Greatest’ that started off with solo cello, then guitar, in a passage with the same chord progression as Pachelbel’s Canon in D!