Not since The Big Chill has a drama so deftly relied on music to serve as its own character in a movie.
The emotional indie, The Music Never Stopped, is based on a true story by neurologist/researcher Oliver Sacks (the doctor who also inspired the book and eventual movie “Awakenings”) about a father (played flawlessly by J.K. Simmons) who uses music to connect with his son (Lou Taylor Pucci), hospitalized with a brain tumor that keeps him from forming new memories, keeping his mind locked in the late 60s/early 70s.
Julia Ormond and Cara Seymour round out the cast, but it’s the soundtrack – featuring everyone from Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Donovan and Crosby, Stills & Nash, among others – that plays the strongest role in the movie. Though father and son fought bitterly living under the same roof, Simmons’ character starts using music to finally bond with his son once he is confined to the hospital. The Music Never Stopped could have easily ended up in Lifetime Movie territory, but thanks to strong writing and stellar performances, it ends up being an honest take on father and son relationships.
The Music Never Stopped/105 Min./Lionsgate/2011