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The Piano [Blu-ray]

4.1 out of 5 stars 476 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Ada is a mute woman who travels with her daughter and piano from scotland to bush country; new zealand; for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner. The relationship sours when her husband trades her beloved piano to their neighbor; baines.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (476 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0064MT1NU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,207 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Bourn on August 9, 2002
Format: DVD
Jane Campion's "The Piano" does what many truly great films do: It inspires fascinating discussion and provokes mixed reactions. The male friend with whom I saw it back in 1993 and I were so enthralled that we kept our significant others waiting to leave for our respective Christmas vacations because we kept phoning each other to discuss symbolism and interesting themes in the movie. While I continue to absolutely love the film, I also recognize why some viewers have not shared my reaction. Perhaps you have to have at least considered a forbidden love affair or perhaps you have to have found yourself trapped in a relationship where you feel you have lost your voice to appreciate what Campion explores.
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.
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Format: DVD
I missed this movie in the theaters 10 years ago, and saw it for the first time purely by chance on HBO recently. I was so enchanted that I watched each of the next three showings in the very same day, and then bought the DVD for my collection. It is one of the most unique, truly deep, thought provoking, awe-inspiring, movies I've seen in a while. The drama is almost Biblical, the love story almost Shakespearian in quality (think Othello). I was enraptured by the music, the crashing waves, and the amazing synergy between the players.
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.
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Format: DVD
I saw this movie when it first came out in theaters in 93 and it has continued to haunt me ever since. Watching it again last night, I realized once more what a wonderful movie it is--rich in symbolism, character, excellent acting, and a story so deep and beautiful it won't leave your brain.

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.
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