JANE CAMPION | AUSTRALIA, FRANCE | 1993 | 121 MIN | R | ENGLISH, BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE, MAORI | 4K
New Zealand’s Jane Campion made Cannes Film Festival history when she became the first woman to win the coveted Palme d’Or with the irresistably erotic and sensual masterpiece, THE PIANO. Like 2021’s THE POWER OF THE DOG, each scene contains a vast array of bridled emotions deliberately paced to truly sink under the skin unlike any period piece before. After being married off to a forestman in New Zealand, mysteriously silent Scotswoman Ada (Holly Hunter) and her daughter Flora (Anna Paquin) are immediately met by her new husband Alisdair Stewart (Sam Neill), his brooding ex-sailor companion George Baines (Harvey Keitel), and a tribe of Māori. Ada’s prized possession is a large piano that Alisdair unsympathetically abandons on the beach creating a wedge between the cold newlyweds. As resentment between the two grows, Ada finds her discreet piano playing igniting a fiery passion between the mute woman and gruff George. Each scene meticulously builds upon the previous to create a rich history and inner character study told through Holly Hunter’s stunning Oscar winning performance and Campion’s intelligent soul-stirring direction.
Cast: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin
Part of the Philadelphia Film Society’s FILM ESSENTIALS series.
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