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The Piano Teacher (2001)
"La pianiste" (original title)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 30,394 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 229 user | 123 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

A young man romantically pursues his masochistic piano teacher.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 20 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Mrs. Schober
Udo Samel ...
Dr. George Blonskij
Anna Sigalevitch ...
Anna Schober
Cornelia Köndgen ...
Mme Gerda Blonskij
Thomas Weinhappel ...
Baritone
Georg Friedrich ...
Man in drive-in
Philipp Heiss ...
Naprawnik
William Mang ...
Teacher
Rudolf Melichar ...
Director
Michael Schottenberg ...
Teacher
Gabriele Schuchter ...
Margot
...
Singing teacher
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for aberrant sexuality including violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 September 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Piano Teacher  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$29,671 (USA) (29 March 2002)

Gross:

$1,900,282 (USA) (8 November 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The part of Erika's mother was originally offered to Jeanne Moreau See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Mother: Good evening, child.
Erika Kohut: Evening, mama.
The Mother: [sarcastically] Home already? I'm so happy.
Erika Kohut: I'm going.
The Mother: Not so fast.
Erika Kohut: Please. Leave me be. I'm tired.
The Mother: I can quite believe it. Your last pupil left 3 hours ago. Might I know where you've been all this time?
Erika Kohut: [trying to go to her room] Please.
The Mother: No, you don't. Not until you tell me.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata in A Major, D.959
Franz Schubert
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Endless...
31 August 2001 | by (Bruges, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Well well, just as I was about to put Michael Haneke somewhere between my favorite directors, he makes this film, a shallow, mindless, endless, pretentious, hollow and utterly boring piece of crap. If this is the nouveau style of French film-making, give me yet another blockbuster instead. It simply can't be worse than this. And it really hurts to see that the rating here is 8.2 (19 votes), when I started to write this, and that this film won a couple of awards in Cannes. Not that Cannes can be taken seriously anymore, but still...

The film is about a piano teacher (don't confuse this film with THE PIANO However!), who doesn't want any of her students to surpass her, who gets involved with a brilliant new student in a perverse sexual relationship, and who is dominated by her "insane" mother (who, in the end, doesn't seem so insane anymore, after all that we saw before). Read the previous line again, save yourself the money, and send it to me instead if you really want to throw it away. Haneke's FUNNY GAMES was a masterpiece, in my opinion, one of the best films of the 90's. This films is one of the worst. They're both about sick minds, but whereas FUNNY GAMES was shocking and definitely had substance, this film is just boring and shallow. It's about sex, sexual perversion, people who aren't able to express their feelings, ... did I say that it was about sick people? Anyway, unlike BAISE-MOI, ROMANCE and INTIMACY, there is almost no nudity or pornography shown in this film. Just a video that the teacher is watching. Apparently, Haneke didn't have the guts to go all the way. Instead, he bores us to death with long close-ups and sick thoughts, and again, and again... Even the beautiful classical music used plentiful in this film, doesn't seem so beautiful after all here. A real accomplishment!

Wanna see a film about sick minds? Rent FUNNY GAMES. A film where sex and nudity are being used to enhance the story? Watch INTIMACY. But please, don't watch this, you'll be very sorry. Very... 2/10


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Why did Erika's mother slap Erika? SonnyCarson
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