Admired by Mozart, forgotten by history. Czech migrant Josef Mysliveček became one of the most acclaimed and prolific opera composers in eighteenth century Italy. This is the story of an artist able to charm the most demanding of audiences, the most famous performers, the impresarios, and even monarchs themselves. Petr Václav’s episodic script includes Mysliveček’s life as a cosmopolitan playboy interloper in Italian high society, breaking hearts along his adventurous and turbulent way.
The film’s Italian milieu is presented in that transitional state between Baroque grandiloquence and Classical lightness, vividly fusing rich historical locations with grandiose design work. The music of course is glorious, featuring Václav Luks’s renowned Baroque orchestra Collegium 1704 with Mysliveček’s operatic arias performed by some of the world’s leading operatic soloists, such as Philippe Jaroussky, Simona Šaturová, Raffaella Milanesi, Emőke Baráth, and Krystian Adam. Il Boemo (The Bohemian) was Czech Republic’s submission to the 2023 Academy Awards. Fascinating background to the making of this epic film is available at www.ilboemo.cz/the-film
Sumptuously appointed musical biopic.
Guy Lodge, Variety
Václav keeps all his elements in balance, managing to celebrate the beauty of opera on the one hand while showing us uglier mini dramas playing out at the front and back of house.
Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
A strong biopic that has something to say about musical creativity and opportunity, as well as the colorful lifestyle of 18th century Venetians.
Anna Smith, Deadline Hollywood Daily
A visually and musically vivid film with ripely conceived backstage and bedroom intrigue.
Jonathan Romney, Screen International