JWR Articles: Film/DVD - The Accompanist (Director/Writer: Frederick Keeve) - May 30, 2020

The Accompanist

3.5 3.5
93 min.

The power of music to heal

If only it was that simple: find a musician who has survived a life-threatening illness (due to embracing the regimens of piano practice) then harness that power to relieve one and all of untold dilemmas and miseries.

Director-writer-composer-actor Frederick Keeve’s first major dramatic feature is filled with hits and misses, but is most certainly worth a viewing.

Full confession: having been a professional musician for half of my career and blessed with a daughter who lived for ballet (attending all-manner of performances—even at midnight!—in Edmonton, Alberta), I should declare a predilection for this type of film.

Being a gay man just pales in comparison.

At the centre of it all is Keeve playing Jason Holden, a weeping pianist whose main gig is accompanying an LA ballet student where the young men and women enrolled have visions of a professional career with the likes of the New York City Ballet company. In these days of COVID-19, how wonderful it is to see so many people just inches away sharing their art.

One of the resplendent male dancers, Brandon (done up with obvious skill and finesse by Ricky Palomino), catches Jason’s eye and then his heart, even as the troubled musician tries to parent two teenage children and resolve a horrendous car crash as he and his wife, Karen, argued about…[no spoiler here].

The fly in the relationship ointment is Brandon’s current beau: Adam (portrayed with grit and gusto by Aaron Cavette) is languishing from lung cancer and jealous to the point of partner violence (the narrative’s weakest moment comes when the previously injured Brandon once again sleeps with his assaulter).

Jason’s apparent supernatural powers (beyond his music—producing localized earthquakes, LA PD sirens out of nowhere), set the stage for a semi-reconciliation for the two men who lust after Brandon’s body.

Jason’s children (played by Juliet Doherty and Christopher Pawl) are seen as backstory revealers rather than real characters.

Best of the supporting cast is Moses the goldfish, allowing Jason a soliloquy that definitely puts things in perspective. What little sex there is, is handled—like a Chopin Mazurka—with delicacy and taste.

By journey’s end, the original song, “If You Ever Needed Me” sums everything up to a T. JWR

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Director/Writer - Frederick Keeve
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