The Piano
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Writer/director Jane Campion's third feature unearthed emotional undercurrents and churning intensity in the story of a mute woman's rebellion in the recently colonized New Zealand wilderness of Victorian times. Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter), a mute who has willed herself not to speak, and her strong-willed young daughter Flora (Anna Paquin) find themselves in the New Zealand wilderness, with Ada the imported bride of dullard land-grabber Stewart (Sam Neill). Ada immediately takes a dislike to Stewart when he refuses to carry her beloved piano home with them. But Stewart makes a deal with… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Sweetie and An Angel at My Table have taught us to expect startling as well as beautiful things from Jane Campion, and this assured and provocative third feature (1993) offers yet another lush parable."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"[An] evocative, powerful, extraordinarily beautiful film from the Australian director Jane Campion."
‑ Hal Hinson, Washington Post
"[VIDEO] "The Piano" is a powerful film for its slow, inevitable inertia of drama."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"A stunning mood piece and a haunting adult fairy tale."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"The fable's surreal imagery and attention to detail, capturing a place and time--New Zealand outpost in 19th century--in which one mute person (the brilliant Holly Hunter) finds the true meaning of womanhood against all odds, linger in memory."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Campion never underestimates the power physical obsession exerts over human souls, and, for once, a modern film treats erotic passion honestly."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"The Piano is as peculiar and haunting as any film I've seen."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A melancholy film exploring the despair and passion that arises from difficult situations."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"It's often incorrectly reduced to a feminist fable, but the scope of Jane Campion's achievement is broader. If anything The Piano is a masterwork of humanism."
‑ Nathaniel Rogers, Film Experience
"The Piano deserves its place as a classic."
‑ Matt Mueller, Empire Magazine
"Ms. Campion somehow suggests states of mind you've never before recognized on the screen."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"The Piano plays itself with such contrapuntal richness, it resonates in you forever."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Charged tale of a woman's awakening for older teens and up."
‑ David Gurney, Common Sense Media
"Sublime - Holly Hunter's best work."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Intriguing and thoughtful - a beautiful tone"
‑ S. James Wegg, JWR
More reviews for The Piano on Rotten Tomatoes

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