Oscar Movies: Competition, The (1980)

A rather engaging tale of romance and rivalry, set in the music world, “The Competition” is well acted by Richard Dreyfuss, then riding high as a result of his films for Spielberg (“Jaws,” “Close Encounters of the Third World,” and winning Best Actor Oscar for “The Goodbye Girl”) and the appealing Amy Irving.

Richard Dreyfuss, plays Paul Dietrich, a high-driven prodigy of about 30. Embittered for never having won an international competition and being pushed and prodded by his parents, Paul decides to enter one last time. His rationale: If he fails again, he will devote himself to teaching.

This being his last chance, he throws himself into the competition with energy, ambition, and determination. During preparations for the competition he meets Heidi (Amy Irving), a natural talent who lacks Paul’s ambition.
She falls in love with Paul, and he is attracted to her, but feels insecure, thus hold his feelings in check, trying to center himself on winning the competition.

Heidi’s possessive music teacher Greta Vandemann (Lee Remick) doesn’t approve of the bond. She sees Heidi’s relationship with Paul as compromising her talent and jeopardizing her standing in the competition.

Who will prevail? Question is, can two prodigies stay in love, even when they are competing against one another?

Oscar Nominations: 2
Original Song: People Alone, music by Lalo Schifrin, lyrics by Wilbur Jennings
Film Editing: Davif Blewitt.

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:
The winner of the Song Oscar was the title tune from “Fame.” Thelma Schoonmaker won the Editing Oscar for “Raging Bull.”

Running time: 129 Minutes.
Directed by Joel Oliansky