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The Piano (1993)

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A mute woman is sent to 1850s New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.

Director:

Jane Campion

Writer:

Jane Campion
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Popularity
1,929 ( 124)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 60 wins & 56 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Holly Hunter ... Ada McGrath
Harvey Keitel ... George Baines
Sam Neill ... Alisdair Stewart
Anna Paquin ... Flora McGrath
Kerry Walker ... Aunt Morag
Geneviève Lemon Geneviève Lemon ... Nessie (as Genevieve Lemon)
Tungia Baker Tungia Baker ... Hira
Ian Mune ... Reverend
Peter Dennett Peter Dennett ... Head Seaman
Te Whatanui Skipwith Te Whatanui Skipwith ... Chief Nihe
Pete Smith ... Hone
Bruce Allpress ... Blind Piano Tuner
Cliff Curtis ... Mana
Carla Rupuha Carla Rupuha ... Heni (Mission Girl)
Mahina Tunui Mahina Tunui ... Mere (Mission Girl)
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Storyline

It is the mid-nineteenth century. Ada cannot speak and she has a young daughter, Flora. In an arranged marriage she leaves her native Scotland accompanied by her daughter and her beloved piano. Life in the rugged forests of New Zealand's North Island is not all she may have imagined and nor is her relationship with her new husband Stewart. She suffers torment and loss when Stewart sells her piano to a neighbor, George. Ada learns from George that she may earn back her piano by giving him piano lessons, but only with certain other conditions attached. At first Ada despises George but slowly their relationship is transformed and this propels them into a dire situation. Written by Patrick Dominick <ptd@ccadfa.cc.adfa.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for moments of extremely graphic sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Release Date:

11 February 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Piano See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$151,419, 14 November 1993

Gross USA:

$40,157,856

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,168,956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh was the only man to receive an Oscar nomination for his work in this film. All of the other seven nominations were given to women (Screenwriter and Director Jane Campion, Producer Jan Chapman, Costume Designer Janet Patterson, Editor Veronika Jenet and actresses Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin), a rare feat. See more »

Goofs

When the boat leaves the island, Ada trails her hand in the water, which is still and calm. On long shots, it is foaming from the action of the oars, and the boat on the water. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ada: The voice you hear is not my speaking voice - -but my mind's voice. I have not spoken since I was six years old. No one knows why - -not even me. My father says it is a dark talent, and the day I take it into my head to stop breathing will be my last. Today he married me to a man I have not yet met. Soon my daughter and I shall join him in his own country. My husband writes that my muteness does not bother him - and hark this! He says, "God loves dumb creatures, so why not I?" '...
See more »


Soundtracks

The Heart Asks Pleasure First/The Promise
Michael Nyman
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
the heart asks pleasure first...
21 September 2006 | by CovousierSee all my reviews

Can someone explain to me why "The Piano" ain't in the IMDb top 250 and, for example, movies like "Sin City" or "Crash" (!!!!!!!!!!) are????????????? This movie,is,by far, one of the most delicate and intelligent ever; it softly touches you, emotionally AND physically, for the filming and the photography are exceptional. Actors in it are troubling, beautiful and so... beautiful(again,i know)! Holly Hunter, who plays a mute piano goddess and manages with her not enough known acting skills to express more with her eyes,her grace and her tiny hands than 100 Gwyneth paltrows put together!!!(no offense,i much enjoyed Shakespeare in love,but,come on...)Harvey Keitel in this broken-hearted warrior/peasant role is more than touching;love embraces him as it embraces us,viewers. Still, Jane Campion avoids the unfortunately fashionable arrogant and tutorial directors touch (oscar for best movie, Crash?????? where the hell are we??????) and lets the viewer flow on his own in this huge ocean of naked and oh so true feelings and respects the pain and/or the anger (Sam Neil,probably the only role in his carrier that shows his great talent) of her clearly beloved characters.Landscapes,seashores,humid forests,mud,rain: nature, as well as human nature, are captured by Campion's eyes and heart in the most sensitive and unartificial way. And, of course, Michael Nyman's score,which, once heard, becomes a part of you. Yes, definitely, the heart asks pleasure first. So treat your hearts and eyes with this unique and sensual Chef d'oeuvre.


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