A mute woman along with her young daughter, and her prized piano, are sent to 1850s New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, and she's soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation. [imdb]
Nominated for 8 Oscars:
Best Director: Jane Campion
Best Actress: Holly Hunter (WINNER)
Best Supporting Actress: Anna Paquin (WINNER)
Best Original Screenplay (WINNER)
Best Costume Design
Yes, it's just the 2nd time I'm seeing The Piano! Can you believe it? :P Being such an essential film for bloggers and such. Really now, there are tons of worshippers around here. And I have to admit something: for a very long time I've been on the Angela Bassett team regarding the Best Actress category. Right now, I am undecided, as it's hard to compare totally different performances. But what I can say about The Piano is that is has a magnificent direction and a very good (and also very special & unique) leading performance.
If 1993 wouldn't have been all about Schindler's List, this movie would've also won Best Picture, Best Director (we would've had the first woman to win in this category!!!) and Best Cinematography (excellent! and very... careful with its showing)! I for one preferred Schindler's List, but Jane Campion really does create such a special film! The story is simple, the film is quiet, beautifully shot and depends a lot on its visuals. The screenplay is good, Oscar worthy, but not better than the film itself; this is the case for an art film, cause this is what The Piano is.
Holly Hunter does give an excellent performance and the role is tough to play, not because of how much it offers, but because it demands 100% focus & greatness by giving the actress many limitations! I don't believe in Anna Paquin's Oscar win, but it was a weak race anyway. I find it hard to love The Piano, but I'm mad about the direction. Who can forget the piano and the sea moment right before the end? Or the fantastic cinematography? But except for Holly's character I really didn't enjoy the rest of them.
My rating for the film: 8.5/10. Hard to talk about. And I would've also gone for less explicit nudity / sexuality. Yet still a great achievement.