Renowned Russian piano teacher Irina Sousatzka gets a new student - Bengali piano prodigy Manek. They are both immigrants in the UK and bond quickly. When Manek's single mother's business fails, he must make a career decision.

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lady Emily
...
Jenny
...
Sushila Sen
Leigh Lawson ...
Ronnie Blum
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Mr. Cordle
Lee Montague ...
Vincent Pick
Robert Rietty ...
Leo Milev
...
...
Tarek (as Greg Ellis)
Sam Howard ...
Edward
Jeremy Sinden ...
Woodford
...
Lefranc
Mohammed Ashiq ...
Sunil
Carol Gillies ...
Sousatzka's Mother
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Storyline

Bengali Sushila Sen and her son, Manek, relocate from India to London after Sushila's relationship with her husband fails. Sushila struggles with everyday living. A child piano prodigy, Manek's schoolteacher refers him to a piano teacher, Irina Sousatzka, a Russian immigrant renowned for her teaching skills. Irina forms a strong bond with Manek, not only teaching him piano but also valuable life lessons. Disagreements arise, as Manek does not want anyone to run his life for him, but nevertheless the training progresses. Sushila, a baker and seller of Indian cuisine, loses an important client after her hair is found in one of her baked goods. To help his mother, Manek feels pressure to use his piano skills to earn some money. This is against Irina's wishes, however, as she is trying to protect Manek from her own negative experiences as a young concert pianist. She believes no student should perform until they are ready. But Manek, encouraged by a pushy music agent, decides to perform ... Written by Laura

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I teach not only how to play, but how to live.

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Madame Sousatzka, a Professora  »

Box Office

Gross:

$3,548,238 (USA)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first film to receive the 12 certificate, introduced by the British Board of Film Classification in 1988. See more »


Soundtracks

Spinning Song
from "Songs Without Words"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Performed by Alexander Taylor
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Very thoughtful
13 September 2000 | by See all my reviews

This movie was an extremely enjoyable experience. I loved every minute of it, even though the story itself is not much to talk about. Its really a slice of life, centering on a piano teacher and her star pupil. The pupil gets involved in the lives of the teachers' neighbors and that's the movie. It might sound boring but it is not. The characters are all sweet and kind to one another, for the most part, and have a real affection for each other too. A birthday party for Madame is a standout scene.

Shirley MacLaine does not rely on her usual mannerisms and delivers a powerful performance as Madame Sousatzka. The rest of the cast is great, too, especially Twiggy as the beautiful Jenny and Peggy Ashcroft as the landlord Lady Emily.

This is the ideal movie for a Sunday morning or when you want to be entertained by some good music surrounded by a good story.


12 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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