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It’s been a wait of over a year since the Angelika Theater closed in downtown Houston leaving the city without a movie theater devoted to art house films, foreign films along with regular studio movies. …

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Mozart’s Sister

Submitted by MBergeron on October 28, 2011 – 11:08 amNo Comment

Leon casino, Mozart’s Sister (Nanneri, le soeur de Mozart) takes the conceit that the Mozart family was a traveling band of moochers living off the generosity of royal courts and aristocracy, all the while wowing their hosts with the beautiful strains of music produced by Wolfgang (10) and his older sister Nanneri (13).

When their stagecoach breaks an axle (or something like that) they find themselves staying briefly in a convent where Nanneri (Marie Feret, daughter of director Rene Feret) makes friends with the young daughter of France’s King Louis XV. With one thing leading to another Nanneri finds herself befriending the Dauphin (a character that historically became the next king, ans was married to Marie Antoinette). Only in order to first meet him she assumes the guise of a young man.

Mixed identities provide some intrigue while typical 18th century sexism prevails and Nanneri acquiesces to her father’s wishes to not play violin, considered a man’s instrument. The Mozarts are a happy family outside of the male dominance issue, even sleeping in the same room during some of their wanderings. It’s like the parents camping out with their precocious and gifted musical kids. Nanneri merely accepts what society dictates.

Mozart’s Sister offers sumptuous costume design and even shoots some sequences at the Palace of Versailles, which boosts the production value considerably. There’s a gentle sense of comedy amidst the gender swapping but the tone never takes us to, say, Victor Victoria territory. Rather MS wants to make a statement about women being sublimated for the greater good of the patriarchal state of things. The music throughout is quite good. Mozart’s Sister currently enjoys an engagement at the River Oaks Three.

- Michael Bergeron

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