6.8/10
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Under the Piano (1996)

An autistic child growing up in the 1940's and 50's with a mother who is bitter because her fear of success has denied to herself a possible career in opera. This anger translates into an ... See full summary »

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3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Franny Basilio
...
Rosetta Basilio
Teresa Stratas ...
Regina Basilio
James Carroll ...
Nick
John Juliani ...
Frank
Jackie Richardson ...
Mrs. Syms
Richard Blackburn ...
Dr. Banman
Dan Lett ...
Dr. Harkness
Judith Orban ...
Hazel
...
Orderly
Deborah Grover ...
Nurse Thompson
Richard McMillan ...
Dr. Davison
...
Michelle
Louisa Martin ...
Michelle's Mother
Simone Rosenberg ...
Young Violet
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Storyline

An autistic child growing up in the 1940's and 50's with a mother who is bitter because her fear of success has denied to herself a possible career in opera. This anger translates into an over-protectiveness of her mentally ill daughter, even into the child's adulthood. But a loving sister, herself having an arm that is paralyzed, is a bastion against the limitations imposed by the mother and finally helps her sister to live a more full life. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

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autism | See All (1) »

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Drama

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October 1996 (UK)  »

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Klaveri all  »

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User Reviews

 
Musically gifted
16 May 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Under the Piano is an underwhelming film based on true events. Franny Basilio (Amanda Plummer) has a paralysed arm but is determined to help her musically gifted autistic sister Rosetta (Megan Follows) to maker a life on her own in post war America.

Their mother Regina (Teresa Stratas) a promising opera singer ignores Rosetta's musical talent as she believes it lacks passion and something learnt by rote.

Franny fights with her mother over the upbringing of Rosetta. Of course in the 1930s when the children were little and during the course of the 1950s, autism was regarded very differently and the doctors wish to lobotomise her when she ends up in hospital over an attempted suicide.

The film has a good period setting, some nice acting and production design. The script is a let down. Its almost its by default designed to manipulate your emotions but has no substance. The film suffers that since Rain Man in 1989 there had been a glut of films dealing with autism and when this arrived seven years later there was little of note in the issues raised or in the acting stakes.


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