User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 89 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 89
  2. Negative: 10 out of 89
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  1. KCNJ
    Jul 10, 2002
    10
    This magnificent study of human relationships explores the forces that unexplicably draw men and women to one another. At first the Harvey Keitel character is strange and repulsive with his tribal facial tatoos. This is an unpredictable and haunting story beautifully filmed by the director in New Zealand. The acting is superb, especially oscars winners Holly Hunter and the amazing young This magnificent study of human relationships explores the forces that unexplicably draw men and women to one another. At first the Harvey Keitel character is strange and repulsive with his tribal facial tatoos. This is an unpredictable and haunting story beautifully filmed by the director in New Zealand. The acting is superb, especially oscars winners Holly Hunter and the amazing young actor Anna Paquin. The gorgeous score, all played on the piano by Holly Hunter herself, will continue to haunt your memory along with this extraordinary film. A must see! Expand
  2. Lucia
    Jul 10, 2007
    10
    A lush film with excruciating attention to photography including shadows. Attention is drawn to the sounds and visuals like some amazing artist has waved a wand and you can't get your eyes off the trail of light left in the air. You care about all the characters. I do wish a little more attention had been paid to the aboriginal tribe that co-habited the area - there was a mystique A lush film with excruciating attention to photography including shadows. Attention is drawn to the sounds and visuals like some amazing artist has waved a wand and you can't get your eyes off the trail of light left in the air. You care about all the characters. I do wish a little more attention had been paid to the aboriginal tribe that co-habited the area - there was a mystique about them as well as everything and everyone else. The film is in a word, beautiful. Expand
  3. TheElusivePossom
    May 6, 2003
    10
    This well-established classic has in general recieved some rave reviews, and it's easy to see why. There's the odd pissant on this site who seems to view otherwise, but despite their opinions, "The Piano" flourishes in its own limelight. The characters supplied by Sam Neill, Harvey Keitel and that woman that plays Ada form a complex, erotically charged love triangle that is This well-established classic has in general recieved some rave reviews, and it's easy to see why. There's the odd pissant on this site who seems to view otherwise, but despite their opinions, "The Piano" flourishes in its own limelight. The characters supplied by Sam Neill, Harvey Keitel and that woman that plays Ada form a complex, erotically charged love triangle that is dramatic, tense and evocative. The soundtrack for the film is the best of any film heard to date, and the aspects of the film appealing to intelligent intellects is truly vindicative of the palpatations. To summarise, this film is a MUST-SEE, and its obvious that the people who have seen and do not like it are interlectually inequipt... Expand
  4. neezyk.
    Jul 29, 2007
    10
    Perfect!
  5. MattG
    Aug 15, 2009
    10
    Haunting, beautiful, poetic, unforgettable. Holly Hunter gives one of the greatest performances of all time, and this is my personal favorite movie of all time.
  6. ChristiaanS.
    Oct 25, 2002
    9
    THE SCENE: Montreal, Winter of 1993. Bikes locked up outside the theatre. Snowbanks up to here! Maybe it was the company that night, but The Piano is, quite simply, one of the most beautiful films I have even seen. It's going on nine years since that night, and the music continues to resonate. Truly a joy for the eyes and the ears. And by the way, I want to ask Craig U. (who posted THE SCENE: Montreal, Winter of 1993. Bikes locked up outside the theatre. Snowbanks up to here! Maybe it was the company that night, but The Piano is, quite simply, one of the most beautiful films I have even seen. It's going on nine years since that night, and the music continues to resonate. Truly a joy for the eyes and the ears. And by the way, I want to ask Craig U. (who posted what appears to be the first comment above) what the hell he was doing in an art gallery in the first place! Did he get lost? Zivijo, Christiaan. Expand
  7. DougA.
    Apr 26, 2002
    9
    Wonderful. The best you'll ever see from Holly Hunter, Sam Neil, and especially Harvey Keitel. Visually scrumptious, and Anna Paquin is startling.
  8. MichaelF.
    Jun 28, 2002
    9
    I can understand one saying that this film is pretentious, I personally didn't care because the images were so unbelievable that it deserved to be shown the way the images were shown. It is probably the most beautiful movie that I have ever had the pleasure to see. It's very sensual and beautiful filmmaking. It's not a top-nontch script but it's good enough. This film I can understand one saying that this film is pretentious, I personally didn't care because the images were so unbelievable that it deserved to be shown the way the images were shown. It is probably the most beautiful movie that I have ever had the pleasure to see. It's very sensual and beautiful filmmaking. It's not a top-nontch script but it's good enough. This film is like a painting gallery w/ a story. Expand
  9. MeredithB.
    Jun 29, 2002
    9
    This movie is hauntingly brilliant - it is not a love story but rather a story about the effects passion can have on a whole community. Keitel's performance is one of his strongest as the seducer. Holly Hunter is magnificent as a mute woman who has to learn to connect, Sam Neill as her dullard husband who refuses to, and Ana Paquin as her daughter gives a remarkable performance as a This movie is hauntingly brilliant - it is not a love story but rather a story about the effects passion can have on a whole community. Keitel's performance is one of his strongest as the seducer. Holly Hunter is magnificent as a mute woman who has to learn to connect, Sam Neill as her dullard husband who refuses to, and Ana Paquin as her daughter gives a remarkable performance as a selfish child who tattles just to see what will happen. This movie is not typical escapist fare - it requires intelligent viewing. Collapse
  10. SamClendon
    Feb 27, 2004
    10
    Powerful, evocative, amazing.
  11. RyanB.
    Sep 19, 2005
    9
    An amazing piece supported with an amazinbg acting team. Anna Paquin, wow! Holly Hunter, perfect! Sam Neil, intense. A well told story show some serious and emotional issuse in a time of uncertainty in early New Zealand. Michael Nymans score truly became Ada's voice.
  12. neezyk.
    Sep 24, 2005
    10
    Perfect!
  13. LouisD.
    Oct 16, 2004
    10
    Really good.
  14. KyleA.
    Dec 22, 2004
    10
    Beautiful...
  15. TomS.
    Feb 27, 2004
    10
    Wonderful film, to all those detractors out there, you have absolutely no understanding of classic film.
  16. LeeD.
    Jun 23, 2005
    10
    Astonishing.
  17. antoñete
    Dec 28, 2006
    10
    Perfect movie!!!! I love this!!!!! The music, the cinematography, Holly, Anna Paquin... The script itself, the poetic images... I can't forget this movie.
  18. Feb 24, 2011
    10
    Innovating and influential masterpiece - Jane Campion's third feature film after her feature film debut "Sweetie" (1989) and "An Angel at my Table" (1990) tells the story of Ada McGrath and her daughter Flora who once upon a time in the 1850s moves from Nelson, Australia to New Zealand where they are to start a new life with Ada's predetermined husband, a landowner called AlistairInnovating and influential masterpiece - Jane Campion's third feature film after her feature film debut "Sweetie" (1989) and "An Angel at my Table" (1990) tells the story of Ada McGrath and her daughter Flora who once upon a time in the 1850s moves from Nelson, Australia to New Zealand where they are to start a new life with Ada's predetermined husband, a landowner called Alistair Stewart. Jane Campion's Palme d'Or winner from 1993 is a versatile character study seen from the main characters point of view and told through her wordless though definite expressions. With acute and subtle camera movements, long takes and picturesque close ups, New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion compassionately examines the complexities in the relationship between man and woman and creates a mysterious, erotic and imaginative period drama about a woman's affectionate relation to her piano and her contradicting strive for independence while being captured in an arranged marriage.

    This international co-production between New Zealand, Australia and France which was exclusively shoot in New Zealand and produced by Australian Jan Chapman is an innovating and influential masterpiece formed by the mythical milieu depictions, the weighty and various moods, the linear narrative, Jane Campion's emphatic screenplay, Stuart Dryburgh's majestic photography, Janet Patterson's noticeable costume design, Andrew McAlpine's production design and Michael Nyman's sterling score, which acutely conveys the main characters passionate inner life. Sam Neill, Harvey Keitel and Anna Paquin delivers memorable performances in this poetic and romantic fairytale lead by Holly Hunter who's internal and gesticulating interpretation of a mute character is one of the most outstanding performances in modern cinema.
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  19. Jan 30, 2012
    10
    Beautiful, moving, original, visually poignant, excellent music, fantastic acting performances. One of my favourite movies. I am puzzled by the negative reviews, perhaps it might not suit someone with very conservative tastes, expecting a tame story of a piano student, etc.
  20. Sep 21, 2013
    10
    just excellent, i loved it, now i know it is my favorite movie: including actors, designers, musicians and producers, the director Jane Campion too. Michael Nyman is one of the must recognized composers of the world.
Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Although the action tends to become melodramatic and even overwrought at times, the imaginative power of Campion's images and emotional insights (especially with regard to the heroin) rarely allow the story to seem artificial or exaggerated. [12 Nov 1993]
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    Campion has spun a fable as potently romantic as a Bronte tale. But The Piano is also deeply cinematic. [22 Nov 1993]
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    100
    Campion's script is very well received, but the film finally makes it on cinematics: bleakly beautiful photography, haunting score, and good acting. [12 Nov 1993]