Hipster Netflix Gems: The Piano

 

Every once in a while we’ll come to you with a movie that you’ve probably never heard of, but you should watch it anyways because we say so.

Perhaps I am a sucker for the use of classical music in movies, particularly ones of passion and violence.  After all,  A Clockwork Orange and the Star Wars prequels are some of my top movies of all time, so take what I am about to say with a great of salt.  That being said, this movie is legit.  If you value high quality literature and movies,  The Piano is an absolute must-see for you.

It’s the 1850s, and Ada’s without a husband (but has a daughter)…there is no way to make money as a woman and take care of her daughter.  So her father arranges a marriage for her to move all the way from Europe to New Zealand, bringing only her daughter, her clothes, and her piano.  One thing she didn’t bring with her was a voice, because in this film Ada is a mute.

Ada’s thoughts we can hear at the beginning and end but in the middle every communication of hers is through either her daughter Flora, by writing things down, or perhaps most importantly, through her piano.  The passion by which Ada (played by Holly Hunter) plays that piano is certainly audible in the film, and not just to me the viewer, but to the characters in the film as well.

The story itself is quite unique…I can’t think of another movie in which the relationships between a mute and other characters are so focused on.  Oh and guess what!  For once we are seeing a movie from a female perspective, perhaps because the director is a female:  Jane Campion.  The tone is rather subtle, and yet the grandeur of it all makes you feel as though it’s a modern day Greek tragedy.

Some things to consider before watching:

1. There is a decent amount of male nakedness…in a creepy kind of way.  If this bothers you, perhaps don’t watch this movie.

2. Being that this is the 1850’s in New Zealand, natives are portrayed with limited characterizations, and women are subordinate to men…if this bothers you, don’t see the movie.

Fortunately (or not) there isn’t as much violence or nakedness as you would find in some shows like Game of Thrones or True Blood that are on today, but the subtlety that I talked about earlier makes these events perhaps seem bigger and you certainly may be more bothered by them.

So now for the tale of the tape!

Stars:  Holly Hunter, who wins an Oscar as the lead actress for this role, San Neil as the husband, Harvey Keitel as the other main man, and Anna Paquin (Yes that Anan Paquin) plays the daughter, Flora when she was only 11.  She also won an Oscar for best Supporting Actress.

Did this win the Oscar for best Original Screenplay?  Yes, for the 1993 awards.

Is this movie  “Erotic” as the trailer seemed to imply?  In a twisted sort of way perhaps, but I might worry about the person that thinks it is…oh wait that person is me! So yes.

Is this truly a love story?  That’s one you will have to decide for yourself, because after watching I still can’t decide.

What hashtag should I use while tweeting about this?  #ThePiano

 

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One comment

  1. Philip Bender · · Reply

    The Piano as Sports Talk……hmmmmm.

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