The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste)
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Erika Kohut is a piano teacher at the Vienna Conservatory prestigious music school in Vienna. In her early forties and single, she lives with her overprotective and controlling mother in a hermetically sealed world of love-hate and dependency, where there is no room for men. Her sex life consists of voyeurism and masochistic self-injury. Lonely and alienated, Erika finds solace by visiting sex shops and experimenting with masochism. Ata a recital, she befriends Walter, a handsome young man, whom she seduces and with whom she begins an illicit affair. As Erika slowly drifts closer to the brink… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This is a penetrating, deeply disturbing examination of desire and loneliness, of desperation and self-denial."
‑ Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"It is as unlikely that you have ever seen another movie like The Piano Teacher as it is that you will ever want to see another one."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"[Huppert gives] the single finest performance I have ever seen her give, and therefore almost by default one of the best of the decade."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"If genital mutilation, rape, incest and twisted acts of sexual gratification are your thing, then this is the film for you. Any takers?"
‑ Tom Grealis, RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
"Will leave audiences cold and not a little depressed."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"It is depressing, ruthlessly pained and depraved, the movie equivalent of staring into an open wound."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"A striking, brilliant film with extraordinary performances -- and Huppert's acting is heartrending."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"A film of Artaudian cruelty, and a boundary-breaker in the cinema's exploration of its own erotic and artisanal id."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"It's a harrowing, difficult film that's only for the most adventurous art-house movie fans."
‑ Mark Robison, Reno Gazette-Journal
"An unflinching view into sexual sadism, starkly contrasted against a background of Rachmaninov, Schubert and Bach."
‑ Jeffrey Bruner, Des Moines Register
"A gripping psychological thriller that, while lacking the power of Funny Games, is still the work of a master."
‑ Marta Barber, Miami Herald
"Is like The Graduate remade by David Lynch; it's no picnic to watch, but you can't look away."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"A revolting and shocking work devoid of redemption and purpose."
‑ Mark Sells, Oregon Herald
"[Isabelle Huppert] outdoes herself."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Haneke keeps us at arm's length. Guided more by intellect than heart, his story flattens instead of sharpens."
‑ Lisa Stokes, Orlando Weekly
More reviews for The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste) on Rotten Tomatoes