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Editor's NoteThis controversially erotic film from New Zealand established screenwriter-director Jane Campion as a universally recognized talent. Holly Hunter stars as Ada, a mute 19th-century woman sent to New Zealand in an arranged marriage with a patriarchal landowner (Sam Neill). She brings along her daughter, Flora (Anna Paquin), and tries to also bring her beloved piano, much to the consternation of her new husband, who abandons the piano on a beach. Artistically and emotionally frustrated, Ada finds herself experiencing an erotic awakening when Baines (Harvey Keitel), an illiterate settler covered with Maori tattoos, rescues her piano, buys it from her husband, then strikes a strange bargain with Ada that gradually leads to her sexual awakening--and to an explosive confrontation.Jaw-droppingly beautfiul with its purple and green palette of untamed New Zealand scenery, THE PIANO is both a ravishing love story and a psychosexual fairy tale on a par with WUTHERING HEIGHTS and JANE EYRE. Featuring a haunting piano score by Michael Nyman and brilliant performances, THE PIANO is a masterpiece, considered one of the best films of the 1990s.
Cast & Crew
|Michael Nyman - Composer|
|Jane Campion - Director|
Plot SummaryA mute woman who expresses herself through her piano arrives in 1800s New Zealand to be a lonely man's mail-order bride. When he leaves her piano on the beach, a local man offers to pay to have it taken to his home. In exchange for slight romantic advances, he sells the piano back to her key by key, leading to a crescendo of passion and jealousy between the men.
|"The voice you hear is my mind's voice."----Ada (Holly Hunter) in voice--over|
|"There is a silence where hath been no sound| There is a silence where no sound may be| In the cold grave, under the deep, deep sea."| ----poem by Thomas Hood (1799--1845) recited in voice--over by Ada|
|"The piano is mine. It's mine!"----note from Ada to Stewart (Sam Neill)|
|"...there are things I'd like to do while you play."----Baines (Harvey Keitel) to Ada|
|"To hell!"----Flora (Anna Paquin) to Stewart when he asks her where her mother's gone|
|"I am quite the town freak. Which satisfies."----Ada in voice--over|