The Piano

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{film, series, show}
{son, year, death}
{album, band, music}
{language, word, form}
{land, century, early}
{woman, child, man}
{black, white, people}
{god, call, give}
{water, park, boat}
{island, water, area}
{rate, high, increase}

The Piano is a 1993 New Zealand drama film about a mute pianist and her daughter, set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier New Zealand backwater. The film was written and directed by Jane Campion, and stars Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill and Anna Paquin. It features a score for the piano by Michael Nyman which became a bestselling soundtrack album. Hunter played her own piano pieces for the film, and also served as sign language teacher for Paquin, earning three screen credits. The film was an international co-production by Australian producer Jan Chapman with the French company Ciby 2000.

Alistair Fox has argued that The Piano was significantly influenced by Jane Mander's The Story of a New Zealand River.[1] The movie also serves as a retelling of the fairytale Bluebeard [2][3], which is hinted at further in the inclusion of Bluebeard as a piece of the Christmas pageant. The Piano was a commercial and critical success, grossing more than $40 million, against its $7 million budget. Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin received high praise for their role as Ada McGrath and Flora McGrath. At the 66th Academy Awards, The Piano won three awards, including Best Actress for Hunter, Best Supporting Actress for Paquin, and Best Original Screenplay. Anna Paquin, who at the time was only 11 years old, became the second youngest ever Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner, after Tatum O'Neal, who won the award in 1974 for Paper Moon, at 10.

Contents

Plot

The Piano tells the story of a mute Scotswoman, Ada McGrath (Hunter), whose father sells her into marriage to a New Zealand frontiersman, Alistair Stewart (Neill). She is shipped off along with her young daughter Flora McGrath (Paquin). Ada has not spoken a word since she was six years old, expressing herself instead through her piano playing and through sign language for which her daughter has served as the interpreter. Ada cares little for the mundane world, occupying herself for hours every day with the piano. It is never made explicitly clear why she ceased to speak. Flora, it is later learned, is the product of a relationship with a teacher whom Ada believed she could control with her mind, making him love her, but who "became frightened and stopped listening," and thus left her.

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