Life With Music: Film Review

Life With Music

Life With Music, known as Coda in some territories, features a solid performance from Patrick Stewart – but has very little else going for it.


Stewart stars as world-famous concert pianist Sir Henry Cole, who is making a comeback following a long hiatus after the death of his wife. He is a popular draw and his manager (Giancarlo Esposito) has booked in plenty of gigs. Cole is as talented as ever, but he has developed stage fright and terrible anxiety around performing in front of others. Helen Morrison (Katie Holmes), a keen pianist and reporter, who is writing a profile on Cole for The New Yorker, helps him gain his confidence back.

Stewart gave an impressive performance, as did the ever-reliable Esposito, but Holmes didn’t offer up much and her chemistry with Stewart wasn’t particularly believable.

Life With Music starts off promising but has many missed opportunities, is paced very slowly and feels much longer than it is. The main narrative runs in parallel with scenes of Cole in the Swiss Alps, presumably finding himself and his love for music again, but they don’t fit together well and made me think the film would have worked better structured chronologically, as I didn’t fully understand the context of the Swiss scenes. Plus, I had a gut feeling their friendship was going to turn into something more – despite the age gap – and then as soon as it does, that plot is abandoned, as is Holmes’ character, and we’re in the Alps with just Cole for the rest of the movie. Why did it string us along in this direction, focussing on a particular storyline, before cutting and going somewhere else entirely? I was hoping the movie would revisit the relationship and show us what happened, but nope.

Life With Music has a beautiful score and is visually stunning in the Swiss scenes, but the narrative was a disappointment.

Life with Music is available on digital download now 

Rating: 2/5

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