The Piano (M)

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The Piano
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One of my favourite films of all time. Stunning scenery, beautiful iconic shots, amazing story and phenomenal acting. Not to mention the fantastic original music by composer Michael Nyman, a favourite of one of the greatest directors in the world - Peter Greenaway. A flawless film by any measure - and with a rather impressive list of awards to prove it too - like the 1993 Palme d'Or Best Film Award at Cannes which unlike the Oscars actually means something.

This film brought the world's attention to New Zealand even before the Lord of the Rings did and made kiwi director Jane Campion and then debutant Anna Paquin international stars alongside actors Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel and fellow kiwi Sam Neil.

The story is of a mute widow (Holly Hunter) with her young daughter (Anna Paquin) coming to 19th century New Zealand from Scotland to be married to a man she has never met (Sam Neill). As the leading lady is mute her main means of communication with the world and expressing her emotions is a piano which they bring along with them. Here they also encounter her future husband's neighbour and friend - the very well assimilated forester, played by Harvey Keitel, who very enthusiastically embraced the Maori culture. The harsh conditions of New Zealand are shown in full glory too. The husband is reluctant to get the piano to their dwelling through the thick and muddy bush forest and so the heroine is forced to play on the beach. And that is where it all begins.

There are many romantic dramas shot every year but I have never seen anything even close to this in its ferocious raw passion and primal eroticism. And very few films have such a cast where every single character even the ones with smaller parts have strong and memorable personalities. A total masterpiece.
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Content updated: 18/01/2020 07:32



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