This biography of Ludwig von Beethoven (played here by Gary Oldman) builds its narrative around an actual letter found after his death, addressed only to the composer's "immortal beloved." The responsibility of discovering this mysterious person's identity falls to Beethoven's friend and secretary (Jeroen Krabbé), who sets out on an investigation that soon becomes an exploration of the composer's life. Through recollections and scattered hints, we receive glimpses of Beethoven's relationships with women, particularly his close interaction with a pair of very different Countesses. The film also pays prominent attention to the composer's oddly obsessive relationship with the young nephew whom he attempted to mold in his own image, and Beethoven's eventual hearing loss and descent into emotional instability.
by Judd Blaise synopsis