Wednesday, November 18, 2009

16th November 2009

Even though I should, I don't watch that many films made in New Zealand. Yes New Zealand is the most beautiful country in the world (I do live here so I may be a little bias), but the film industry is not so great here. Luckily, we do turn out little gems now and then, like The Piano (1993). The Piano is one of those films that you have to watch really hard, because it has so many layers. On the surface you have a film which is almost impossible to understand, but if you dig deeper it's like finding gold. I may have only got half way to that gold, but I still found the film to be like a stunning portrait. Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter) has been mute since birth, but enjoys playing her piano more than anything else. When her husband (played by Sam Neill, who is very surprising in this role) decides to whisk her and her daughter (Anna Paquin, in an Oscar-winning role) off to 1850's New Zealand from Scotland, Ada takes her piano on the rough ride. Unfortunately, there aren't enough hands to carry the piano up the steep hill to their new home, and Ada is bothered by the prospect of it being swept away by the rough seas. Her neighbour, a rough outdoorsy tattooed man, George Baines (Harvey Keitel) decides to take the piano to his house, and Ada begins going to his house to try and get her piano back. This comes a heavy price, as Ada and George begin an illicit affair. The story is interesting, but sometimes it drags on too long. The performances are amazing, Anna Paquin is interesting, considering she was only 11 years old when she turned out such a performance. Jane Campion is an asset to the New Zealand film industry, and it is fantastic that she continues to make films similar to this one. Although I liked it, I wasn't terribly overwhelmed by it, and would only recommend it to fans of independent dramas.

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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