New Zealand 116m, Colour
Director: Jane Campion; Cast: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin
The Piano is a beautiful, dark and unforgettable drama narrated by Ada McGrath – a 19th century mute Scottish woman who is sold into a loveless marriage by her father and shipped off to live on a remote portion of the west coast of New Zealand. Accompanied by her daughter Flora who acts as her personal interpreter, Ada is forced into selling sexual favours to regain ownership of her beloved piano which her new husband had abandoned on the beach and then sold. As Flora, Anna Paquin at eleven years of age, arguably gives the finest performance by a child actor in the history of cinema. Spectacularly photographed, and accompanied by a wonderful musical score, The Piano is an extraordinary and powerful film (Klaus Ming July 2011).