7.5/10
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The Music Never Stopped (2011)

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2:32 | Trailer
Tale of a father who struggles to bond with his estranged son Gabriel, after Gabriel suffers from a brain tumor that prevents him from forming new memories. With Gabriel unable to shed the ... See full summary »

Director:

Jim Kohlberg

Writers:

Gwyn Lurie (screenplay), Gary Marks (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
J.K. Simmons ... Henry Sawyer
Cara Seymour ... Helen Sawyer
Lou Taylor Pucci ... Gabriel Sawyer
Scott Adsit ... Dr. Biscow
James Urbaniak ... Mike Tappin
Max Antisell ... Young Gabriel
Ryan Karels Ryan Karels ... Bernie
Peggy Gormley ... Florence
Tammy Blanchard ... Tamara
Josh Segarra ... Mark Ferris
Xander Johnson ... Weed
Jesse Roche Jesse Roche ... Steve
Julia Ormond ... Dianne Daley
Erica Fae ... College Representative (as Erica Berg)
Mía Maestro ... Celia
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Storyline

Tale of a father who struggles to bond with his estranged son Gabriel, after Gabriel suffers from a brain tumor that prevents him from forming new memories. With Gabriel unable to shed the beliefs and interests that caused their physical and emotional distance, Henry must learn to embrace his son's choices and try to connect with him through music. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some mild drug references, language and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 October 2011 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Oliver Sacks Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,543, 20 March 2011

Gross USA:

$258,223

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$342,202
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the essay "The Last Hippie" from Dr. Oliver Sacks's book, "An Anthropologist on Mars." See more »

Goofs

When Gabriel and his Dad are playing the song "Uncle John's Band" from the Grateful Dead album Workingman's Dead, the needle on the record player is at the very end of the LP. The song is actually the first track on the album, so the needle should be near the outer edge of the LP. See more »

Quotes

Helen Sawyer: Are we ready? I've got the medication.
Dianne Daley: I've got the bag.
Gabriel Sawyer: I've got the brain tumor.
See more »

Connections

References The Partridge Family (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Written by Stephen Stills
Performed by Crosby Stills & Nash
Published by Gold Hill Music Inc.
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

'All you need is love'
22 July 2011 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Oliver Sacks, M.D. is a physician and professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center. In 2007, he was named the first Columbia University Artist, in recognition of his contributions to the arts. THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED is an adaptation (by Gwyn Lurie and Gary Marks) of "The Last Hippie", a short story/essay from Sacks' "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat", a collection of case history stories. Dr. Sacks is a neurologist who has spent his career diagnosing, evaluating, and treating a variety of neurological disorders (and the oftentimes the profound personality shifts that resulted in brain injury or trauma). This information provides a bit of reality ground to the film and makes it all the more important to see and respect. As directed by Jim Kohlberg, this film is a quiet, reverent, at times disturbing exploration of the many aspects of brain function and malfunction and an example of adaptation to these challenges.

Gabriel Sawyer (Lou Taylor Pucci) was a bright youngster in the 1070s when the Vietnam war was altering the nation's perception of right and wrong as expressed in the music of Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Cream, the Beatles, etc. Longing to be a professional musician he foregoes his parent's wishes that he attend college and with regret leaves his girlfriend Tamara (Tammy Blanchard) and takes off for New York's Greenwich Village. Fast forward to 1986 and Gabriel is hospitalized for an enormous brain tumor, surgically removed, but leaving Gabriel without the ability to remember. At this point Gabriel's parents are located and his father Henry (J.K. Simmons) and mother Helen (Cara Seymour) visit him in the hospital, longing to reconnect with the son that has been absent for fifteen years. The lack of memory emphasizes the schism between Henry and Gabriel and Henry's depressed state results in his being placed on sick leave from his successful job to deal with the trauma of his family. Music having been so important to Gabriel as young man introduces the music therapist Dianne Daley (Julia Ormond) who meticulously follows the cues form Gabriel's attention span and is able to open the doorway to his memory loss through his love of the music of his time. Henry latches on to this and decides the only way he will be able to rebuild the broken fence of his relationship to Gabriel will be through music and together the two find connection despite the neurological blockades.

The cast is exemplary: J.K. Simmons is splendid as the father, Cara Seymour makes the mother wholly credible, Julia Ormond gives a selfless, fine performance, and Lou Taylor Pucci brings life to the long injured Gabriel. The music is by the recordings of the period with special music supplied by Paul Cantelon. Stephen Kazmierski's camera work allows almost unbearably touching close-ups of each of the actors that open the story for us. This is a film based on a true case history, but this is also a story that is immensely touching and uplifting simply from the way it has been written, directed and acted.

Grady Harp


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