Cinema of the World: The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993)

14 Nov

Jane Campion – The Piano (1993)

Cast: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill…

Nineteenth century New Zealand. Ada arrives in the country for an arranged marriage with a patriarchal landowner. She brings along her daughter, Flora and tries to also bring her beloved piano. Her new husband doesn’t care for the instrument, abandoning it on a beach. Without her piano, Ada is artistically and emotionally frustrated. Ada’s worries are resolved when she meets Baines, the man who rescues her piano and leads her onto a romantic adventure.

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Plot Synopsis:

Writer/director Jane Campion‘s third feature unearthed emotional undercurrents and churning intensity in the story of a mute woman’s rebellion in the recently colonized New Zealand wilderness of Victorian times.

Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter), a mute who has willed herself not to speak, and her strong-willed young daughter Flora (Anna Paquin) find themselves in the New Zealand wilderness, with Ada the imported bride of dullard land-grabber Stewart (Sam Neill). Ada immediately takes a dislike to Stewart when he refuses to carry her beloved piano home with them. But Stewart makes a deal with his overseer George Baines (Harvey Keitel) to take the piano off his hands. Attracted to Ada, Baines agrees to return the piano in exchange for a series of piano lessons that become a series of increasingly charged sexual encounters. As pent-up emotions of rage and desire swirl around all three characters, the savage wilderness begins to consume the tiny European enclave. Campion imbues her tale with an over-ripe tactility and a murky, poetic undertow that betray the characters’ confined yet overpowering emotions: Ada’s buried sensuality, Baines’ hidden tenderness, and Stewart’s suppressed anger and violence. The story unfolds like a Greek tragedy of the Outback, complete with a Greek chorus of Maori tribesmen and a blithely uncaring natural environment that envelops the characters like an additional player. Campion directs with discreet detachment, observing one character through the glances and squints of another as they peer through wooden slats, airy curtains, and the spaces between a character’s fingers. She makes the film immediate and urgent by implicating the audience in characters’ gazes. And she guides Hunter to a revelatory performance of silent film majesty. Relying on expressive glances and using body language to convey her soulful depths, Hunter became a modern Lillian Gish and won an Oscar for her performance, as did Paquin and Campion for her screenplay. Campion achieved something rare in contemporary cinema: a poetry of expression told in the form of an off-center melodrama. by Paul Brenner (

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Raffinato e suggestivo melodramma vincitore della Palma d’Oro

Palma d’Oro, ex aequo, al Festival di Cannes. L’originale regista di Sweetie e Un angelo alla mia tavola debutta nel grande cinema ufficiale. Ciò comporta co-produzioni, grandi nomi, capitali cospicui e una storia di buona presa per il pubblico. Ma la Campion mantiene intatta la sua personalità di autrice. Purtroppo la bravura tecnica questa volta sfiora il manierismo. Ancora una volta la protagonista è una donna con problemi di comunicazione con gli altri. È muta, vedova con una figlia, e per convenienza familiare deve sposare uno sconosciuto. Si trasferisce con lui in un’isola sperduta in Nuova Zelanda. Non le è concesso di suonare il piano, sua unica consolazione. Ma con l’aiuto di un uomo all’apparenza rozzo, in realtà molto sensibile, il suo desiderio sarà esaudito. Tra loro nasce un particolare idillio che farà uscire di senno il marito. Dopo colpi di scena degni di un melodramma, il lieto fine è d’obbligo. Tiziano Sossi (

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Pubblicato da su 14 novembre 2010 in Cinema



Una risposta a “Cinema of the World: The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993)

  1. Rod Delarue

    14 novembre 2010 at 02:51

    Jane Campion – The Piano (1993)
    Links”rapidshare” (dvdrip v.o. eng. sub.) al seguente indirizzo:
    E per la versione del film in lingua italiana links “uploading” al seguente indirizzo:



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