Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.
A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.
Erika Kohut is a pianist, teaching music. Schubert and Schumann are her forte, but she's not quite at concert level. She's approaching middle age, living with her mother who is domineering then submissive; Erika is a victim then combative. With her students she is severe. She visits a sex shop to watch DVDs; she walks a drive-in theater to stare at couples having sex. Walter is a self-assured student with some musical talent; he auditions for her class and is forthright in his attraction to her. She responds coldly then demands he let her lead. Next she changes the game with a letter, inviting him into her fantasies. How will he respond; how does sex have power over our other faculties? Written by
Isabelle Huppert must be one of the greatest actresses of her or any other generation. "La Pianiste" truly confirms it. As if that wasn't enough, Annie Girardot plays her mother and Annie Girardot is one of the greatest actresses of her or any other generation. So, as you may well imagine, those pieces of casting are worth the horror we're put through. Isabelle and Annie play characters we've never seen before on the screen. A mother and daughter yes but with such virulent fearlessness that sometimes I was unable even to blink or to breath. Personally, I don't believe in the director's intentions, I don't believe they (the intentions that is) go beyond the shocking anecdote and the ending made me scream with frustration but I was riveted by the story written in the face of the sensational Huppert and the fierceness of Girardot's strength. I highly recommend it to cinema lovers anywhere and to the collectors of great performances like me, you can't afford to miss "La Pianiste"
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