7.6/10
68,594
249 user 88 critic

The Piano (1993)

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:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
1,706 ( 505)

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 3 Oscars. Another 60 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ada
...
...
...
Kerry Walker ...
...
Nessie (as Genevieve Lemon)
Tungia Baker ...
Hira
...
Reverend
Peter Dennett ...
Te Whatanui Skipwith ...
Chief Nihe
...
Hone
...
Blind Piano Tuner
...
Mana
Carla Rupuha ...
Heni (Mission Girl)
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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

Release Date:

11 February 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Piano  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$40,158,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Holly Hunter had to learn how to play the piano to prepare for her role as Ada, therefore she played most of the piano sequences herself. See more »

Goofs

Pianos of the period portrayed in the film were made almost entirely of wood, no metal framing at all, and the piano would therefore float, not sink. 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?" '...
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Connections

Referenced in Charlie Rose: Quentin Tarantino (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Flowers of the Forest
Written by Jane Elliot
Performed by Anna Paquin
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An original and extraordinary film
22 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

Ada, A woman chosen to be mute, travels with her daughter and baby grand piano across the seas from England to an exotic land in New Zealand during the Victorian Era. This woman has been oppressed in her homeland and denied her womanhood. She has been arranged a marriage with a Landowner who is afraid of fleshly desire. She meets an exotic Caucasian male who seduces her into a world she can be herself in. She is able to release her oppression through their passion.

A film of intrigue. Why make such a story? It has a touch of magical realism. Jane Campion creates a mythical world and fills it with the human condition. Holly Hunter plays Ada with a fierce and graceful flowing note and deservedly won her awards. She plays woman's independence.

The Piano is a strange film and very effecting on it's story. The screen emits the mystery of the forest that surrounds and engulfs Ada's spirit.

Haunting and lyrical.


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