Shine on, you crazy Pianist.

OK, there's this musical genius, and he has an over-bearing father and it makes him less than socially acceptable, yet he manages, through his own strength and the strength of others close to him, to triumph against the odds.

Sound familiar?

And that's my basic problem with 7 Times Academy Award Nominated Film, Shine. It's up for Best Picture, it's up for Best Actor, it's up for Best Supporting Actor, it's up for Best Director, and a veritable truckload of other things so that means it's good, right?

Well, yeah.

But between you and me, I've seen this movie before.

What's really sad is that it's a true story. So basically, I'm saying that I've seen this guy's life before. Which is sad, and grounds for major frowning.

Don't get me wrong. This is a beautiful picture, and the music, various great piano concertos and what not, are magnificent. The acting is superb. Although, for my money, I don't see Geoffrey Rush, the actor up for Best Actor, as the lead. See, most of this story is told in flashbacks. And Geoffrey Rush, who is brilliant, isn't in the first hour-plus of the movie. The kid who plays him as a teenager and college student, now he's the star of this movie. Or the father, who is up for Best Supporting Actor, but probably has more screen time than the lead.

But maybe I'm just nit-picking.

See, I wanted to LOVE this movie, and I only LIKED it. I loved the music, I loved the story, I loved the art that was the center of this piece.

Yet I missed something. I mean besides naked women and explosions.

I think I've figured out one of the rules of moviedom:

If there's a naked women, it's porn. (Showgirls, Striptease, Larry Flynt)

If there's a naked man, it's art. (Shine, The Piano)

So if you're watching a flick and you aren't sure if it's art or porn, just see which sex gets naked. Then you'll know.

Sir John Gielgud makes an appearance as, well, as Sir John Gielgud. I mean, he's not just Good - He's Gielgud! Man, wouldn't it be great to be a Sir? Just for acting? That's one way of knowing you've made it. You know the best part about being a Sir? You get to use the Royal "We." In fact, from now on, I want all of you to call me Sir Self-Made Critic. WE would like that very much.

And about Hollywood's fascination with the Piano players. Enough already. Been there, done that. You wanna impress me? Make a critically acclaimed film about a Kazoo Player. How's that for a soundtrack? Nothing but circus music throughout the entire movie!

Maybe not.

In general, and specifically this time, Shine garners up a rockin' 3 1/3 Babylons. Plus one Babylon for the Art House Crowd. If you just die for these Art House films, then add on the Babylon, the rest of us will keep it reigned in at 3 1/3. It's our way.

Editor's Note:

3 down, 2 to go. You know, there's a slim chance in Hell that he might just see all of them. I mean none of us expected him to see Shine, but there ya go.

Unless he's just paraphrasing some other review? Hmmm... better check to see if Teen Beat reviewed Shine. It's the only magazine he's been known to read.

He swears it's just for the articles.