A beautiful and touching story about a composer (Richard Dreyfuss) whose dream is to make his living by creating music and ultimately his own opus. However, life has other plans for him.
We meet Mr. Holland on his first day as a high school music teacher in the early 1960’s. He rushes home every day to his lovely wife and his music, but things will never be as simple as he expected. Now, he’s got tests to grade, lessons to prepare, etc. Soon, he’ll have a son to provide for and one job is not enough. Like any father, he dreams the kid will be a better musician than himself, but life’s surprises hit him again.
Decades pass by and also many students through his classroom. He’s known by all as the gentle and passionate music teacher who took to teaching out of necessity first, and then learned to love the profession without ever forgetting his dream of writing an opus.
With all the disappointments, challenges, and heartbreak Mr. Holland faces, he is compensated at the end of his career with a pleasant surprise that will bring tears to your eyes.
Directed by Stephen Herek, this 1996 film is probably the highlight of his career. On the other hand,veteran actor Richard Dreyfuss shines here once again in one of the most heartwarming performances about a man who learned to let go while still believing in his dream.
See also with Richard Dreyfuss: What About Bob? (1991), American Graffiti (1973)