The Pianist [Review 45 for FQ13]

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Why I Saw It: This is the first role I can remember hearing about the talented Adrien Brody, though for various reasons (including the lack of interest in the film from the people I typically watch films with) I never ended up seeing it prior to 2013.

What Was It About?  “A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Memorable Performances: Outside of the first third of the movie, there really aren’t any characters who have more than five minutes of screen-time aside from Adrien Brody… but his work in the film is incredible. Absolutely worth the Oscar he won for the performance.

Potential Nominations for Film Quest ’13:  

  • Best Actor – Adrien Brody

Favorite Parts: In films like this, it’s hard to say that there are “favorite” parts. The scenes where he was playing the piano, specifically the two near the end, were great… but I really enjoy classical music. Towards the end, the interactions Brody’s character has with the Nazi who shows him compassion made the film considerably better.

adrien-brody-the-pianist-23The Regrettable Aspects: The nature of the film didn’t lend well to having multiple characters featured throughout the film, but it did take away from the ability to enjoy it… though honestly I don’t feel like the point of the film was to enjoy it. I think it was mostly meant to provide a story and present it skillfully and emotionally hook the audience.

Would I watch it again? I might, but it’s like a trek up a relatively large mountain… though not one with a record-setting height. You’re proud to get to the end, and the journey was worth it, but after you’ve been there once, there’s really no need to go again. People who love history and music more than I do would perhaps disagree.

To Whom Would I Recommend It?  Anyone who loves history and/or classical music more than I do. Or people who enjoy strong performances.

Other Recommendations:

The nature of the challenges faced in this movie don’t compare with the severity of those in The Pianist, but they are significant in terms of the characters involved in the respective stories.

BILLY ELLIOT – One of my favorite lesser-known / lesser-appreciated films, it features a young man specifically gifted in the arts who deals with considerable drama as he seeks to find a way to pursue his craft in spite of the external factors he faces.

–  EMPIRE OF THE SUN – Just like with The Pianist, it features the tale of someone separated from their family due to the horrors which come in a war-torn state.

NOWHERE BOY – No war in this one, just a young music prodigy who tries to find himself while dealing with familial drama. Plus, it’s about John Lennon and has a considerable amount of historical foundation for its plot, which is something which really grabs me.

If you’ve got recommendations for alternatives to THE PIANIST, or for other similar films, let me know!

Next up… JACKIE BROWN!

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