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Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: The breathtakingly beautiful and long-awaited second feature from the Brothers Quay. On the eve of her wedding, the beautiful opera singer Malvina is mysteriously killed and abducted by a malevolent Dr. Droz. Felisberto, an innocent piano tuner, is summoned to Droz's secluded villa toThe breathtakingly beautiful and long-awaited second feature from the Brothers Quay. On the eve of her wedding, the beautiful opera singer Malvina is mysteriously killed and abducted by a malevolent Dr. Droz. Felisberto, an innocent piano tuner, is summoned to Droz's secluded villa to service his strange musical automatons. Little by little Felisberto learns of the doctor's plans to stage a "diabolical opera" and of Malvina's fate. He secretly conspires to rescue her, only to become trapped himself in the web of Droz's perverse universe. (Zeitgeist Films) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Kristine McKenna
    100
    Those who can surrender to the Quays' poetic logic will find The Piano Tuner to be nothing short of a masterpiece.
  2. Flaunting elements of "Phantom of the Opera" and "The Island of Lost Souls," the movie, with its haunting, claustrophobic environment, allows the living and the merely lifelike to interact with an eerie beauty.
  3. The film is about vanity and pride, and the caging of beauty. Its elaborate fabrication has an intoxicating quality that captures the imagination like all good horror stories.
  4. Reviewed by: Karen Wilson
    70
    The story--is only important in that it gives the Quays a foundation for their fabulous animated tableaux.
  5. 67
    Like a dream, this film is wispy and ethereal; like a nightmare, it lodges in your hindbrain and gnaws away with gleeful abandon.
  6. 58
    The result is a cast of characters who are little better than automatons themselves. This wouldn't be a problem if the rest of the film were as captivating as it was surely meant to be. Instead, the Quays work overtime to make both their story line and images as obscure as possible.
  7. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    40
    By the end of the 99 minute running time, there is a terrible sense of been-there/done-that. And for artists of the Quays' caliber, that is a huge mistake.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. JamesS
    Nov 18, 2006
    10
    This is an amazing, unusual film, worth seeing for the art direction alone. The critics are right that it won't appeal to everyone, and This is an amazing, unusual film, worth seeing for the art direction alone. The critics are right that it won't appeal to everyone, and honestly, I don't even know what to compare it to. Maybe that's one of the best compliments I can give to this film. It is extremely original, surreal and exquisitely beautiful. Expand
  2. ChadS.
    Apr 26, 2007
    4
    Is Adolfo(Saracho Cesar) dead, too? Who knows? "The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes" is beautiful to look at, but the story is needlessly opaque Is Adolfo(Saracho Cesar) dead, too? Who knows? "The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes" is beautiful to look at, but the story is needlessly opaque and arch. Why does Droz(John Gottfried) invite Adolfo to tune his "automotons" if he has it in mind to keep these former lovers apart? Trying to differentiate and identify the multiple planes of existence in this fantastical world is exhausting, and frankly just not worth it. The unique animation that these gifted artists are renown for would've been better served had the narrative not been so off-puttingly obscure. Poetic logic is fine for a short film, but all that enigmatic dialogue, non-linear storytelling, and ambitious editing choices(I think it might be in the early-Russian tradition) becomes a chore to sit through at full-feature length. "The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes" is purely an intellectual moviegoing experience. There is not a single moment that will elicit any sort of emotion from the viewer. Expand
  3. MargaretL.
    Jan 23, 2007
    2
    The Quay brothers should stick to their original actors, puppets. They seem unable to direct living, breathing people.

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