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"Too many notes!" says the royally befuddled Emperor (Jeffrey Jones) of Mozart's newest opera. "Just cut a few, and it'll be perfect." In 1984, director Milos Forman cut several notes from his Oscar-winning film about an 18th-Century court composer, Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham), who's driven mad with jealousy by the God-given musical genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce).
Now, in this director's cut rerelease--with a digitally remastered, pitch-perfect print and soundtrack--Forman has replaced some 20 minutes of footage. A couple of additions seem superfluous, though amusing, such as Mozart's piano performance for a congregation of dogs. The most fascinating inclusions involve Salieri's increased pleas to God and his vengeful plan to sexually coerce Mozart's wife, striking a dramatic chord which resonates in later scenes. It may be true, as Salieri says, that "mediocrity is everywhere"--but not in this classic composition. Rock us, Amadeus.