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From the author of Awakenings comes this heartwarming tale of a father and son who find a connection through the music that embodied the generation gap of the 1960s. An unforgettable soundtrack features the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and more.
What is it about music that delivers a fully formed emotional memory years, even decades, later--as though you were hearing it for the very first time? The Music Never Stopped examines the emotional power of music in a touching, lovely way that will stay with the viewer long after the film is over. The Music Never Stopped is based on a true story first told in an essay by Oliver Sacks Awakenings, about a young man who develops a brain tumor that prevents him from making any new memories after 1970. The film opens in the mid-1980s when the boy, now in his 30s played with subtlety and humor by Lou Taylor Pucci, reminiscent of a young Sam Rockwell, is rediscovered after a long absence by his parents. J.K. Simmons, the veteran TV actor, plays Gabe's heartbroken dad, and gives the performance of his life--true, real, grounded and believable. The Music Never Stopped traces the work of a young music therapist Julia Ormond, also terrific who discovers that Gabe's brain can make new memories if it involves learning a new piece of music. So Gabe's dad immerses himself in Gabe's favorite music--the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, Cream, the Beatles--and hatches a plan to reconnect with his son. Part of the beauty of The Music Never Stopped is that the experience of watching it mirrors what is happening on the screen; listening to the great music of the '60s instantly brings memories and emotions to the surface, not only in the characters, but in the viewers as well. It's to director Jim Kohlberg's great credit that he achieves this feat, and that he lets the story unfold simply without unneeded schmaltz. Any parent who's felt estranged from a child, any child who's felt at odds with a parent, and anyone who's ever really and truly loved music--which means just about anyone--will find a lot of heart and soul in The Music Never Stopped. --A.T. Hurley