The Pianist 2002

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(275) 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

74 of 75 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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29 of 31 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Josh W on 31 Dec. 2004
Format: DVD
This version and the 2 disc special edition are excellent - an extremely moving film - brilliantly acted and a very emotional watch. It makes the whole thing seem so real and so completely retchid and horrific to realise that this is real. It's based on a true story, written by Wladyslaw Szpilman, the pianist in this film, and the director lived through World War II, so it's authenticity can't be doubted. My only issue is that the DVD editions on amazon.co.uk are both 143 minutes in run time, whereas the original film when it was on the cinema was 150 minutes - the DVD edition has cut out 7 minutes of footage where the pianist's family were in the concentration camp and additional footage at the end concerning their wellbeing - these bits were all the more moving, and it is a real shame that they are missing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Simon C. Lewis on 22 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
One of those little-known stories that surfaces from time to time and leaves us wondering how it had never previously come to light. An immensely moving portrait of survival against the odds, with commendable emphasis on the humanitarian element, as well as the enemy's capacity to compromise when brain finally overcomes brawn. Arguably Polanski's finest film ever, with towering performances from Adrien Brody and Thomas Kretschmann. Should anyone question why we still make films about the 2nd World War and the Holocaust in particular, advise them to see this. When the audience rises to acclaim Szpilman's virtuoso performance over the closing credits, it is hugely tempting to stand with them and applaud this cinematic jewel. How many more tales like this await discovery by a reputable director? Priceless.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By vailsy on 26 Aug. 2004
Format: DVD
forget all those movies that really try very hard to be disturbing. nothing beats real world experience.
this movie presents the plight of the jewish population during this period, in a much more heart wrenching way than any movie about the death camps could. they really were lambs to the slaughter in the ghettos, and were treated 100% as sub-human. absolutely horrendous
Brody plays this absolutely on the button. i'm sure many actors would have tried to overplay it, but he really allows the chaos around him to take centre stage. he doesn't amble through it by any means, but he seems to depict a kind of serenity throughout. it is quite beautiful to watch
the camerawork in this movie is incredibly engaging. a through the keyhole look at the outside world, which really captures the terrible claustrophobia that jewish people must have felt at that time.
some great sound in this movie also, the scene which draws your attention the most is when the tank shells the building occupied by Szpilman and his ear drums are blown out leaving them screaming
really, i can't say enough good things about this film. i wouldn't call it an enjoyable experience, but it is a rewarding one. and it needs to be watched to remind people how very lucky we are generally in the modern day.
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