A famous, alcoholic, embittered, lonely, sarcastic, and self- destructive pianist-composer (Jane Seymour) holes up in a small Vermont town to bottom out on her misery. If all this weren’t enough for one woman to cope with, along comes a young piano prodigy (Christopher Gartin) to break her heart. Can things get worse? You bet: She gets cancer.

Not a nanosecond of Matters of the Heart is believable, nor is it meant to be. Trashily enjoyable, the movie is purely a fantasy of sensual refinement (sex and Chopin), and Seymour gnaws away happily at her big, bitchy role. But even the most unabashedly sentimental might cringe with embarrassment as Seymour, breathing her last, holds on long enough to watch Gartin triumph at a piano competition with a Tchaikovsky concerto. They seldom make them as shameless as this anymore. C-

Matters of the Heart
  • Music