The Piano (15)
New Zealand/1993/118mins/15 Dir: Jane Campion With: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin, Sam Neill
In newly colonised Victorian-era New Zealand mute Ada McGrath arrives in the wilderness with her daughter Flora, betrothed to frontiersman Alistair Stewart. She takes an immediate dislike to him after he refuses to carry her beloved piano home with them and sells it to neighbour George Baines, but attracted to Ada, Baines agrees to return the piano in exchange for lessons that gradually become a series of erotically charged sexual encounters. As the story unfolds the characters’ long suppressed emotions come to the fore, as if elicited by the wildness of the natural world around them. Jane Campion became the first female director to win the Palme d’Or for this extraordinary, triumphant masterpiece about a woman’s rebellion which also won her a Best Screenplay and Oscars for Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin in career-defining roles. A tale of immediate urgency and tremendous expressive power by one of the most compelling filmmakers at work today, soundtracked by Michael Nyman’s evocative score.