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The Pianist 2002

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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:
Adrien Brody, Emilia Fox
Runtime:
2 hours, 22 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Historical
Director Roman Polanski
Starring Adrien Brody, Emilia Fox
Supporting actors Michal Zebrowski, Ed Stoppard, Maureen Lipman, Frank Finlay, Jessica Kate Meyer, Julia Rayner, Wanja Mues, Richard Ridings, Nomi Sharron, Anthony Milner, Lucy Skeaping, Roddy Skeaping, Ben Harlan, Thomas Lawincky, Joachim Paul Assböck, Roy Smiles, Paul Bradley, Daniel Caltagirone
Studio StudioCanal
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: DVD
Director Roman Polanski had much personal history to draw on, when he directed "The Pianist." He spent his own childhood in Poland, and escaped from the Krakow Ghetto, although his mother, and other family members, perished in the Holocaust. Polanski makes this his most personal and powerful film to date, and deservingly won the Academy Award Oscar for Best Director.
"The Pianist" is the agonizing story of Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's survival of the Nazi's destruction of Polish Jewry.
The film begins in 1939, with Szpilman playing Chopin on the piano for Radio Warsaw, as the Germans bomb the city, and finally force him to stop playing. History has documented well what happened in Warsaw over the following two years - the Jewish ghetto was constructed and settled, racial laws were written and enforced, people died of starvation, illness, or Nazi murder. Then the "resettlement" roundups began. Szpilman was waiting at the Umshagplatz to be deported to Treblinka, with his family, when fate seemingly intervened, and he was spared. His survival story is a different kind of hell than others that I have seen or read about. Szpilman watches the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and subsequent destruction, from the outside, looking in. Usually, accounts of the Jewish uprising are from former fighters, or survivors, who were inside the ghetto at the time. I can only wonder if Szpilman longed to join his fellow Jews and fight the Nazis, rather than remain in his solitary apartment overlooking the ghetto, with his own end unknown.
The story is told from a uniquely unsentimental point of view.
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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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