The Piano (1993)

R   |    |  Drama, Music, Romance

The Piano (1993) Poster

A mute woman is sent to 1850s New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.

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  • Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin in The Piano (1993)
  • Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin in The Piano (1993)
  • Holly Hunter at an event for The Piano (1993)
  • Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin in The Piano (1993)
  • Anna Paquin in The Piano (1993)
  • The Piano (1993)

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15 June 2002 | ssizer
art house trash
I'm sorry I sat through this awful movie. The situation is asinine: Ada, Holly Hunter's character, is a voluntary mute who chooses not to speak. Ever (Care to try that for a month? A day?). Not when her finger gets chopped off. Not when she finally responds to Harvey Keitel's sexual advances. She's the mail order bride to Stewart (Sam Neil), who actually turns out to be a very decent and understanding guy. But no matter; he's made to fit the formula: stuffy, uptight Victorian Englishman versus sensuous, sexual native Harvey Keitel. This is stereotyping of the worst sort; some might call it racist (but this is a feminist film, and feminists CAN'T be racists, can they?) I found myself much more sympathetic with Stewart, as did my wife. And as for child actress Anna Paquin: hard to believe that this insufferable, puling brat won an Oscar for this thing! My main reaction to her performance was that I kept wanting to smack her (oops! How abusive of me!) Oh, yeah, the 'music' Hunter's character plays on her beloved piano: new age minimalist dreck. You'd think a little Chopin would perhaps be a bit more in keeping with the period in which the action is set. I mean, why put Holly Hunter in a period costume and then have her noodle away on a genre of music that wasn't even invented yet? See what I mean by asinine? Yes, the New Zealand scenery is beautiful. So rent a travelogue.

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