The Piano (1993)

112.

★★★★★

Directed by: Jane Campion
Written by: Jane Campion
Starring: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel and Sam Neill

The loss of one primary sense is said to heighten the other five. For instance, if one is blind, their hearing, touch, sound, taste, and smell is supposed to be sharper than regular sensual capacities. And while the ability to speak isn’t a sensory attribute, the difficulties and hindrances that are caused by being mute shapes a unique world view that is acutely aware of the people and events that surround such individuals. Such is the case for mute Ada (Hunter) – a passionate and strong willed woman who is sent to New Zealand as an imported bride to land owner, Alisdair Stewart (Neill), in Jane Campion’s third stunning feature, The Piano.

Moving house.

With the same intensity that Ada experiences her new surroundings and circumstances, Campion presents a highly original and beautifully wrought representation of female self-expression. Traveling across the globe with her young, and equally passionate daughter, Flora (Anna Paquin, long before her True Blood days), Ada is placed in a situation not uncommon for women of the Victorian era. Despite the submissiveness that such circumstances demand, Ada holds onto her love of playing the piano with an unwavering stubbornness that is bold for women of her time. It is precisely through this passion then that Campion weaves a imaginative love story that is magical, powerful, and thoroughly awe-inspiring.

Performances by Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, and Sam Neill are exceptional, and of course, the Oscar award winning performance by the vibrant and energetic Anna Paquin is a must-see.

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