The Piano Teacher (2001)

R   |    |  Drama

The Piano Teacher (2001) Poster

A young man romantically pursues his masochistic piano teacher.



  • Isabelle Huppert and Benoît Magimel in The Piano Teacher (2001)
  • The Piano Teacher (2001)
  • Christian Berger and Michael Haneke in The Piano Teacher (2001)
  • Isabelle Huppert and Benoît Magimel in The Piano Teacher (2001)
  • Annie Girardot and Udo Samel in The Piano Teacher (2001)
  • Michael Haneke in The Piano Teacher (2001)

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10 September 2002 | mcnally
| Grim but excellent
I saw this film at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival. La Pianiste reinforces the "Austrians=grim" thesis I'm formulating. Isabelle Huppert won a well-deserved Best Actress award at Cannes for her portrayal of a woman who, in her efforts to attain the artistic ideal, loses her humanity. Trapped by her talent, she suppresses her emotions and her sexuality until they can only be expressed in twisted and terrifying ways. When a younger student falls in love with her, our hopes rise, but are soon dashed by the realization that she cannot experience love the way others can. It is too late for her, and the film's final 30 harrowing minutes are, tellingly, devoid of the beautiful music that carried the first 90 minutes. The message seems to be that the music itself is not enough without the life and beauty it's describing.

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