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It's About Hope

February 10, 1996

Re "Why Has 'Opus' Struck a Chord?" by Claudia Puig (Feb. 3). Puig's assessment of this movie's success missed the point entirely. It's not only marketing strategy, a great trailer or counter-programming.

The movie takes aim at a subject Americans are wrestling with. Many people have now been downsized out of careers/positions/jobs they've given their lives to. How does one find hope and self-esteem in the face of those circumstances? The chord it struck is the human condition and life in America today.

The "smart critics" don't get it either. This movie isn't emotionally manipulative. It's about a genuinely good man who made a few key choices in life that landed him in a vulnerable position. Many very good people are in that same vulnerable position.

Good marketing can help a movie be a bigger success, but it can't make a movie "good." Maybe Puig, the "smart critics" and the Hollywood moguls should go back and try to see the movie with the eyes of the average American. Then they just might understand what is truly appealing about "Mr. Holland's Opus."

DENISE C. KOENIG

Santa Paula

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