Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Piano

The Piano is director Jane Campion's hailed film from 1993 which earned her a Best Director nod as well as critical praise. Oscars also went to Holly Hunter and a very young Anna Paquin, as well as to Campion for her screenplay. It tells the story of a young mute woman (Hunter) and her daughter (Paquin). She has been sold by her father into mariage to a wealthy yet kindly landowner (Sam Neill). In the mid-1800s, they travel by boat to live in New Zealand and the natives port their belongings to their house, except for the piano which stays on the beach. Soon it is in the possession of one of the landowner's simple workers (Harvey Keitel), a crude man who soon takes up with the woman. The Piano is a film of great passion and beauty, with radiant colors eminating from every scene. Though the material is not as stunning as it may have been 17 years ago, it is still very powerful and strange at the same time.