The great joy of the film, whether you know piano or not, is watching Bernstein teach.
Tom Long, Detroit News, 2015-04-10
Hawke's cinematic etude may not unlock all the mysteries of music, but "Seymour: An Introduction" is universal enough to be understood by a bananafish.
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2015-04-09
Like a touching master class on living correctly, listening to the charming Bernstein will have you changing keys.
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2015-04-09
Coming off of his superb one-two performances for Richard Linklater in Before Midnight and Boyhood, Hawke continues to work at a creative high level. He demonstrates a rapport and openness with his subject that proves exceptionally affecting.
Bruce Ingram, Chicago Sun-Times, 2015-03-26
Whether or not Hawke got any answers to his questions about the purpose of being artist, seeking them under the guidance of a teacher like Bernstein resulted in this work of art.
Peter Keough, Boston Globe, 2015-03-26
Seymour: An Introduction is just that - not too much biography, or history. And one needn't be a music aficionado, or a musician, to appreciate the modest erudition coming from this man.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2015-03-26
His playing is beautiful - he was a gifted concert pianist who gave up the stage at 50 to concentrate on teaching and composing. His stories are tremendous. And his voice, clear and strong, is magnetic.
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, 2015-03-26
"Seymour: An Introduction" gives viewers a soaring, sublime and enduringly meaningful glimpse of a man who is undoubtedly the real thing.
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 2015-03-26
It's hard to find much wrong with this film, itself a meditation on art and the practice of craft.
Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail, 2015-03-20
The movie's real subject is the difficulty -- and the critical importance -- of bringing into harmony one's personal and artistic lives, of being not only a good artist but a joyful one.
J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, 2015-03-19
Seymour: An Introduction is a delightful film experience about the transformative power of art.
Liz Braun, Toronto Sun, 2015-03-19
Bernstein in action is a study of what a teacher should be: kind but with a steely resolve. He analyzes the music and figures how to overcome its obstacles.
Leba Hertz, San Francisco Chronicle, 2015-03-19
A fondly made portrait ... of a gentle philosopher with a wicked wit, a superbly talented pianist who intellectually challenges and charms in equal parts.
Linda Barnard, Toronto Star, 2015-03-19
Unusual, intelligent documentary whose subject is a pleasure to spend time with.
John Anderson, Newsday, 2015-03-19
Hawke's first documentary is a perfect movie for a gray Sunday afternoon, a gentle and loving tribute to a man ... anachronistically convinced that talent is its own reward.
David Ehrlich, Time Out, 2015-03-17
The sweetness of the subject's nature and the gentle modulations of his speaking voice are so potent that it would seem not just uncivil but futile to contradict him; yet Hawke is too alert and too inquiring to let the movie subside into worship.
Anthony Lane, New Yorker, 2015-03-15
The unfortunate disconnect between great artistry and great commercial success runs throughout history. But Bernstein is a special case because, unlike so many great musicians who fell unwillingly by the wayside, he chose his own path.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor, 2015-03-13
More than a musical offering, it's a study in boundless passion, plus a wellspring of wisdom about art and life from a man who sees no dividing line between the one and the other.
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, 2015-03-12
Hawke's gaze is too adoring, but the solitary sight of Bernstein putting together his foldout couch/bed in his one-room apartment is as poignant as his recital of the "Moonlight" Sonata.
Joe McGovern, Entertainment Weekly, 2015-03-12
Some very special aspects of New York City hide in plain sight. A case in point is Seymour Bernstein, the subject of actor Ethan Hawke's assured, meditative debut as a documentary director.
Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News, 2015-03-12