Sunday, Jun 13, 2021 at 4:00 PM
Dir. Jane Campion. 1993, 117 mins. 35mm With Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin, Kerry Walker, Genevieve Lemon. After exploding onto the art film scene with her breathtaking features Sweetie and An Angel at My Table, evidence of a singular visual talent, Jane Campion broke through with this astonishing feminist love story. Hunter won an Oscar as Ada McGrath, a fiercely independent Scottish woman who speaks only through her beloved piano, and who travels with her young daughter (Paquin, a Best Supporting Actress winner at age 11) to the harsh frontier of 19th-century New Zealand after being sold into marriage. Disconnected from her quietly cruel new husband (Neill), Ada falls into an affair with a charismatic neighbor (Keitel) who uses her piano as the ultimate bargaining chip. A film of sensorial pleasure and Gothic power—and featuring a magnificent cascading score by Michael Nyman—The Piano won Campion a screenwriting Oscar and the Palme d’Or at Cannes.