The Pianist 2002

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(263) IMDb 8.5/10
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This moving and haunting story of survival is based on concert pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's memoirs. Escaping deportation, the musician is left behind in the Warsaw ghetto and forced to hide in empty flats to evade capture while scavenging for food.

Starring:
Jessica Kate M,Emilia Fox
Runtime:
2 hours 22 minutes

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The Pianist

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, International, Historical
Director Roman Polanski
Starring Jessica Kate M, Emilia Fox
Supporting actors Frank Finlay, Thomas Kretschmann, Maureen Lipman, Jessica Kate Meyer, Julia Rayner, Ed Stoppard, Adrien Brody
Studio StudioCanal
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 73 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 10 Nov 2004
Format: DVD
Unlike the previous reviewer, I have decided to go for the Full Monty and give "The Pianist" a 5 star rating. The film is a biopic of the talented Jewish pianist Wladislaw Szpilman ,set against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation of Warsaw throughout World War Two. The full scale of the persecution of the Polish Jews during this period is laid bare, as verbal abuse turned to physical assault, dehumanisation , ghettoisation and ultimately extermination."The Pianist" is the story of Szpilman's personal experience of these times as he is thrown from the cosseted surroundings of his prime time slot playing Chopin on Polish Rundfunk into the grim surroundings of the Warsaw ghetto with all its deprivation,uncertainty and terror.As he gets separated from his family and friends, a primeval and astonishing lust for survival consumes Szpilman as he faces all manners of peril."The Pianist" is a gripping film from beginning to end with Adrien Brody playing Szpilman with great skill and emotion as chaos and confusion engulf his well ordered life. It is as harrowing, but not as graphic as "Schindlers List" , but it captures perfectly the demonic nature of the Nazis and the sense of dread and terror that surrounded their occupation. However I rated "The Pianist" so highly because of the thread of metaphysical symbolism that ran through it. Szpilman and his music were the corporeal expression of the human spirit, perhaps even of the Holy Spirit, surrounded by an almost supernatural hate, forced into hiding , stalked by terror, but never extinguished.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Joanne on 14 Jun 2005
Format: DVD
The Pianist is one of those films that you watch and for some time afterwards there is an ache as you remember the horror and sadness suffered by those portrayed. This could and should be a life-changing film but we too often forget as the ache wears off. This is a terrible waste. Watch this film and do not let the memories fade - in fact, buy it and watch it frequently. If there is one good way for us to realise what we have in life it is to see such films as this.
Adrien Brody goes way beyond a performance and the film way beyond a movie. It is a masterpiece. I will never forget it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karmagirl81 on 10 Aug 2005
Format: DVD
This film from Roman Polanski is one of the best factual based films I have ever watched. It tells the story of one man (Adrian Brody)and his fight to survive the war against the Germans. There are some horrifying moments in the film, but what makes it worse is the fact that these moments actually happened in real life. Brody plays the part beautifully, and as long as you are not the sort of viewer that surface watches a film, you will feel as though you are there with him as he gets ripped from his family in order to live. It has an outstanding cast including Maureen Lipman and scenery is spectacular. Not for the faint hearted, but if you appreciate a brilliant film, give this a go...Roman Polanski at his best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Williams TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 July 2004
Format: DVD
I've just seen this film rather belatedly, having been inspired to do so after reading the book on which it it based, and also Norman Davies' history of the Warsaw Rising - 'Rising 44'.
The film is a worthy attempt to be true to the book and to history. Those who criticize it for a lack of overt emotion or heroism should read the book(s). Polanski, within the constraints of making a commercially viable film, has tried hard to portray not just the factual account of the book but also its emotional content, or lack of it. Spilman is not a conventional hero. We do not see him rallying the resistance movements, standing up to the Nazis, winning the girl and riding off into the sunset. There are no fictions in which all Jews are virtuous and in which heroes and villains get their just deserts. Spilman's story is one of dependence on others for most of the time, and his (ultimately triumphant) instinct for survival often leads him to stay put and do nothing rather than to seek adventures amidst the battles for Warsaw. (Norman Davies complains that the film conflates the Ghetto Rising of 1943 with the Warsaw Rising of 1944, but I did not find this to be the case.)
The obvious comparison is with 'Schindler's List'. This is a lower key film in every respect. The horror is less horrific. It is less emotional, less lyrical and less expansive. The battle and crowd scenes are none too convincing, perhaps due to budgetary constraints. And the passage of long periods time is not conveyed to well, though how Polanski could have done justice to this is beyone me. But 'The Pianist' has its moments. The scenes in which Spilman first emerges from his hiding place into the ruins of a totally destroyed Warsaw, and in which he first meets and plays the piano for his German saviour Wilm Hosenfeld are unforgettable.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Clint Stallone on 6 Oct 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Specifications:-

Case Type - Book style case with removable booklet.

Disc - 50GB, MPEG-4 AVC encoded, Region B Locked.

Video - 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio in a 16:9 frame, Colour, 1080p/24fps

Audio - Original English/German Master Audio DTS-HD 5.1. Dubbed French and Italian Master Audio DTS-HD 5.1

Subtitles - Optional Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish. English Subtitles appear as mandatory during German dialogue when the original audio is selected (apparently this was a problem on the previous vanilla Blu-ray disc release).

Supplements -

'A story of survival: behind the scene of the pianist' Documentary (40 mins. 1.85:1 letterbox in 4:3 frame).
Interview with writer Ronald Harwood (20 mins).
Interview with Andrzej Szpilzman (30 mins).
Interview with Daniel Szpilzman (2 mins).
Theatrical Trailer.

All supplements in Standard Definition.

Censorship? - No cuts or censorship have been applied to this film. The BBFC passed the film without cuts with a 15 certficate. The film contains disturbing and graphic wartime violence, and infrequent strong bad language (towards the end of the film).

This is not an easy film to sit through. Roman Polanski and his crew of filmmakers have created a powerful, upsetting and yet optimistic account of Wladyslaw Szpilman's experiences during the holocaust. Every detail of authenticity is shown in the sets, costumes and props. At the 2003 Academy Awards the film was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Editing and Best Picture. It won (Deservedly) Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Director -Roman Polanksi and best Leading Actor - Adrien Brody.
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