7.6/10
66,778
246 user 83 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.

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Writer:

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2,284 ( 309)

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 3 Oscars. Another 57 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ada
...
...
...
Kerry Walker ...
Aunt Morag
Geneviève Lemon ...
Nessie (as Genevieve Lemon)
Tungia Baker ...
Hira
...
Reverend
Peter Dennett ...
Head Seaman
Te Whatanui Skipwith ...
Chief Nihe
Pete Smith ...
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 is a mute who 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 neighbour, 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:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,301,338 (UK) (10 December 1993)

Gross:

$40,158,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

We never learn who Flora's illegitimate father is in the film. It is revealed in Campion' s novelization of the film that it was Ada' s former piano teacher. 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 Father Ted: The Mainland (1998) 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

 
An original and extraordinary film

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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