A mute woman along with her young daughter, and her prized piano, are sent to 1850s New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, and she's soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.
Based on the true story of Australian pianist David Helfgott, this delightful movie charts the traumatic early years through adulthood. Telling the story in flashback we see David as a child prodigy and as he grows up while his patriarchal father abuses him and his siblings with the memory of his childhood in Europe and the loss of his family in the concentration camps. David finally breaks away from his father and goes away to study overseas, he later suffers a breakdown and returns to Australia and a life in an institution. Many years later he is released and through several twists of fate (in reality even more unlikely than film portrays) he starts playing a piano in a bar before finally returning to the concert hall. Written by
Dustin Hoffman expressed interest in playing David Helfgott, as his music and life story have both moved him. See more »
In the film, the character shows all signs of schizophrenia; not bipolar disorder (formerly known as "manic-depressive disorder"), as is claimed in the film. Furthermore, David Helfgott, in person, displays many symptoms of schizophrenia and none of bipolar disorder. See more »
I don't now why but when I first viewed this a few years back I did not care for it, but after watching it again I was very impressed. Maybe because I have grown more of an appreciation for classical music in that timeframe. I really don't understand how I could have missed the outstanding portrayal of the nuturing/stultifying father-son relationship, or the moving way that David can only express himself via the piano (notice how he speaks in virtually only apothems). This is a very great film.
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