The Piano [Blu-ray]
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The story centers around Ada (Holly Hunter in an Oscar-winning performance) and her daughter, Flora (Anna Paquin--who also won an Oscar for her extraordinary performance). They leave their upper-class home in Scotland after Ada's father (apparently) arranges her marriage. Ada, who has willed herself not to speak since age 6, expresses herself through her beloved piano.
The true story of who fathered Flora is never revealed in the movie, but the context suggests that she is Ada's illegimate child born from an illicit affair. The hinted-at story of Flora's conception provides a key to understanding both why Ada later begins an affair with her New Zealand neighbor Baines (Harvey Keitel) and why she makes a mail-order marriage in the first place. I suspect that Ada's aging father may have wanted to see her settled--preferably far away so that her unconventional behavior would no longer be a source of social embarassment--and given Ada's muteness and out-of-wedlock child, her father probably couldn't find a suitable suitor in mid-Victorian Scotland.Read more ›
And Harvey Keitel - who knew? Those gangster/tough guy roles just don't even touch this man's talent. George Baines is intense, tender, passionate, a total jerk - so it would seem - but underneath the gruff exterior lies the heart of a prince. Keitel really puts it all out there, literally and figuratively. It's a risky role and it works for him.
Holly Hunter was spectacular, as usual, but in this film the fast-talking, high-energy woman you came to know in "Broadcast News" or "Texas Cheerleader Murdering Mom" must dig deep. Ada's silences surpass powerful, she conveys more with her facial expressions than most people say out loud in a lifetime. Speech is clearly an overrated and overused form of communication. Ada's will is almost a character onto itself. And one can see clearly that no one is more surprised by her emerging emotions and unfolding events than she.
Sam Neill's character is sad, broken, pathetic, frightening, and your basic worst nightmare all at once. Jealousy is indeed and ugly and and devastating emotion.
I disagree with a few of the other reviewers about Anna Paquin's character, Flora. Some saw Flora as innocent. Watch closely. She's diabolical, almost schizophrenic.Read more ›
Many reviewers have given a plot synopsis but I want to talk about the way the piano itself is used in the movie. It is a beautiful instrument and from the start of the movie we can see that Ada loves it. We soon see why she is so attached to it--it is literally her voice since she has not spoken since the age of 6. When she and her daughter are dumped on the shores of New Zealand, her new husband refuses to acknowlege her need to have the piano with her. He leaves it behind despite her pleas that they take it rather than her clothes or household goods. There is a very poingnanant scene with Ada standing on a cliff and looking out to the beach at the piano with such longing in her eyes. It is clear she is leaving a part of herself behind--perhaps the most important part and yet her oaf of a husband completely misses it.
It is Bains, the neighbor and friend of Ada's husband who finally grasps the significance of the piano. At Ada's insistance, he takes her and her daughter back to the beach so she can play her beloved piano and 'speak' for the first time in days. You can see by the way her face lightens from the harsh mask it has been through most of the movie so far how much this means to Ada. She actually smiles and her movments lose their stiffness and become flowing as she lets the music move through her, saying things impossible to express through words. Bains displays a quality here that Ada's husband has little of--patience.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a waist of my money, all of the CDs a bought from Amazon, as the area zone, does not correspond to the area zne of my Country . What a waist :-(Published 2 days ago by Filipa Ramos
I first saw this movie when it was first released and loved it. It was also great the second time aroundPublished 9 days ago by Joan Signorelli
Beautiful photography, scenery, acting. Fabulous director. Very sensual film. I highly recommend.Published 9 days ago by Jane Ferriera
Hauntingly beautiful, emotionally rich, and riveting…a must-see. I saw this when it hit movie theaters and have counted it as one of the most well-done movies I have every seen. Read morePublished 11 days ago by victoria pirrie
This is a review of the movie not the blu Ray. This is the sort of movie that I expected to find both thought provoking and well acted. I often enjoy "artsy" movies. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Barry
I enjoyed this movie more watching it now than I did in the theaters when it first came out. But there are some giant plot holes that make it hard for me to give it a better... Read morePublished 25 days ago by J. Perrotta
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