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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing performances, beautifully haunting movie...
The Piano is an amazing tale of lust, envy, jealousy, betrayal and female identity and independence. Set in the mid nineteenth century, Ada McGrath is shipped off with her daughter Flora and their scant belongings to New Zealand, the reason being her arranged marriage to a somewhat successful land owner. Ada's beloved piano makes the journey with her.

The...
Published on 18 Nov. 2006 by L. Black

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Is it a copy of a proper CD?
Poor quality of sound meant you needed the first 20 minutes to attune and even then, in some places I never could hear the sound track perfectly.
Published 22 months ago by Nigel Hudson


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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing performances, beautifully haunting movie..., 18 Nov. 2006
By 
L. Black "lorcanblack" (Dublin, Republic of Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Piano is an amazing tale of lust, envy, jealousy, betrayal and female identity and independence. Set in the mid nineteenth century, Ada McGrath is shipped off with her daughter Flora and their scant belongings to New Zealand, the reason being her arranged marriage to a somewhat successful land owner. Ada's beloved piano makes the journey with her.

The visually haunting opening scene of her arrival on the beach is perhaps one of the most haunting movie openings I think I've ever seen. From the beginning you sense her suffocating sense of misplacement and isolation, her sense of being out of place in the rain drenched, mud soaked South Island is overpowering (you have to remember this was way back when the area was hardly populated except by natives and there were few roads etc).

Holly Hunter excells, as usual, in her role, deservedly winning an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of a woman who chooses to be mute and has not spoken since she was six years old. Ada's true love, is her piano, which is her emotional and symbolic voice, being her most powerful expression of emotion and spirit. Ada takes an instant dislike of her new husband (Sam Neil) when he refuses to bring her piano up from the beach, and when an illiterate neighbour George Baines (played by Harvey Keitel) decides to bring her piano to his home, he strikes up a deal with her, formulating a way for her to earn it back. He proposes that for every lesson she gives, he gets to perform one sexual act. In the beginning, Ada despises George for his immoral, lustful blackmailing, however slowly, tacitly, their relationship transforms into a strong emotional and intellectual bond, and their lives spiral down into a frenzy of lust, deadly jealousy, envy and tragedy. The movie is full of symbolism and should be read metaphorically rather than literally. Passion is abundant, and as a pianist, I felt her intense passion for playing, which offered not only a voice for her to express herself with, but formed a part integral to her identity.

It is long, and quite slow to get into but very rewarding, and the haunting climax, and ending will leave you breathless but with a feeling of fullfilment.

I watch it again and again, and realise each time more and more symbolism within the movie. Amazing, Jane Campion deserved her praise and awards, while Anna Paquin became the youngest actress ever to win an Academy Award, whilst Holly Hunter excels in the peformance of a lifetime.

Tagged as one of the best movies of the last 30 years of the twentieth century?... I certainly think so.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning achievement from director Jane Campion, 17 Feb. 2012
By 
The CinemaScope Cat - See all my reviews
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In the mid 19th century, a mute woman (Holly Hunter) and her young daughter (Anna Paquin) travel from Scotland to New Zealand where a marriage to a frontiersman (Sam Neill) has been arranged by her father. The husband is a coarse somewhat confused man but his friend (Harvey Keitel) possesses a sensitivity that eventually wears down her emotional resistance. This haunting, evocative film directed by Jane Campion (who won a best original screenplay Oscar for this) won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival and it's a remarkably sensitive portrait of a woman without a voice, literally of course but metaphorically without a voice in the society of her time. Even her marriage is arranged by her father and no explanation is given to why she simply stopped talking at age six. Hunter's career best performance (Cannes film festival and Oscar best actress awards) is stunning as is the remarkable performance by a then 10 year old Paquin (unlike most child actors, there isn't a false note in her performance) who won the supporting actress Oscar. The score by Michael Nyman is one of those rare scores that become a very part of the film's fabric and the exquisite cinematography is courtesy of Stuart Dryburgh.

The Optimum DVD from the U.K. is a pristine anamorphic wide screen (1.85) transfer with an audio commentary by director Champion, an interview with composer Michael Nyman and a vintage making of documentary.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a wee gem, 27 April 2012
This is an unusual story, which gives nothing away and thereby keeps the viewer captivated throughout.

All the characters are quite disagreeable people: aggressive, selfish, narrow-minded and each utterly determined to get their own way. So a bristling tension is quickly established and simmers along beautifully right to the end.

The actors are very convincing within the context and setting of the movie - there is absolutely no Hollywood glamour sneeking in the backdoor here - and the performances are intense, with many claustrophobic scenes to heighten the drama. These are contrasted with the delightful windblown beach scenes and exceptional soundtrack.

The poor attempts at Scottish accents by those non-scots actors was distracting though and the writer/director should simply have allowed the actors to speak in their own voices.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstandingly Good All Time Great., 13 July 2013
By 
H. A. Weedon "Mouser" (North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a real film about real people struggling to survive in the early days of European settlement in New Zealand. In particular it's about a Scottish woman, Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter), her strong willed young daughter Flora (Anna Paquin), Ada's piano and a 'gone-native' settler played by Harvey Keitel. Ada travels from her native Scotland to become the bride of Stewart (Sam Neill), but turns against him when he refuses to bring her beloved piano up off the beach onto which it has been ferried ashore from the ship that brought Ada and Flora into the bay. The half gone native settler helps Ada by buying the piano and installing it in his shack, after which Ada visits him regularly ostensibly to teach him how to play it and they rapidly grow to love each other.

Daughter Flora plays a vital role in bringing everything to a head from which final resolution is achieved. It would be hard to find a better child actor anywhere than Anna Paquin who performs precisely as one would expect any young girl to behave and all the other players are equally convincing. There are no caricatures here and we are, mercifully, a vast distance from anything resembling clichéd Hollywood caricaturisation. It's not often that we find films as well made and acted as this one.

My copy of this work plays excellently on my Blu-ray DVD player, which makes me wonder about all the fuss made by some reviewers concerning its quality. However, I'm not reviewing the disc; I'm reviewing the film. My contention is that one cannot downgrade star rating just because the quality of a disc is deemed not to be up to standard. So I end by saying that this film is most certainly a five star masterpiece, which I would rate as one of the greatest films ever made.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films I've ever seen!, 7 Jun. 2011
By 
Miss K. Sanderson (Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
LOVE this film! So moving, emotional and intriguing. Holly Hunter plays her role brilliantly, and the fact that she is mute throughout the film does not at all take away from the performance. In fact, it makes it all the more enjoyable. Can't recommend watching this film enough, I watched it again a couple of nights later! And for anybody who plays the piano, get the sheet music for 'The Heart Asks Pleasure First' and 'Big My Secret'. Two stunning pieces of music by Michael Nyman which Holly Hunter plays beautifully in the film. Loved it!
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully emotional experiance, 30 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Piano [DVD] (DVD)
With it's mixture of happiness and pain, love ands envy, it can be said that 'The Piano' is a film without fault. Set in the 19th centaury it is a story of a dumb woman and her daughter. Ada is married off to a successful landowner in New-Zealand, but of all of her possessions her husband will not bring is her beloved piano. The piano has replaced her vioce and love and since she lost it six years previously and Ada feels useless without it. A neighbour decides to retrieve the abandoned piano and claim it for his own. He strikes a deal with Ada so that he can do certain things to her whilst she plays. The story spirals into a storm of lust, envy, anger, pain and love. With an unforgettable finish to a beautiful film this is a wonderful picture indeed. The film has a stunning soundtrack with some amazing piano pieces which keep emotions riding high right until the end of the final credits. There is superb acting by Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel and Sam Neill all wonderfully directed by Jane Campion,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The subtle, beguiling `Piano'., 11 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Piano [DVD] (DVD)
I had been looking for this DVD for some time, so was delighted to find it and buy it. I am afraid the film was too subtle for my husband and I had to spend too long explaining it all to him (!) so it is delightful to have it to myself on my personal DVD player. No explanations required for most women - just a simple delight and a lesson in quiet seduction to all men. I love a happy ending too, which helps ! No wonder Holly Hunter won awards for her acting. Perfect.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and sensitive film, 15 Mar. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Piano [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Set in New Zealand and making the most of the stunning scenery, this beautifully photographed film leaves a lasting impression.
The casting is good and the roles are played with sensitivity and skill. The film has a dream like quality throughout that draws you in but never confuses. Excellent!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a breathtaking masterpice, 16 Nov. 2003
This review is from: The Piano [DVD] (DVD)
This film is a true classic just ten years after its release, I tried to describe this film to a friend but it proved impossible. Although the only way I could think to describe it in any way, shape or form was to the power of a human vocal, you know when a gifted singer falters on a note singing with true naked emotion thats the a tiny percentage beauty and magnificence of this film. There are some many moments you lose count of when a shot will look out into the distance or focus on one of the characters when the depth of soul and emotion projected through the screen knocks your socks off, an unbelievable raw, beautifully directed and performed piece of work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BLU RAY Review needed., 22 Feb. 2015
By 
Hula Dancer (Cheshire , England.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Piano [1993] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The Piano is one of the most beautiful original love stories ever.
But can someone who has purchased the BLU Ray please review the quality of it.?
When it was released on Region 1 NTSC Blu Ray in the U.S., there was many complaints about the poor picture quality.
It has now eventually been release on Region 2 PAL Blu Ray in the U.K. Is the picture quality up to HD standard.?
Or should fans of the movie just stick with their DVD copy.?
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Piano  [1993] [Blu-ray]
Piano [1993] [Blu-ray] by Jane Campion (Blu-ray - 2014)
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