It is the mid-nineteenth century. Ada cannot speak and she 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 neighbor, 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 <email@example.com>
Jane Campion became the first woman to win the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival with this film, though she was unable to receive the award in person, as she was due to give birth. See more »
Ada writes a note to George on a piano key, but earlier George had told her that he can't read. See more »
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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A vaguely pornographic account of a love triangle between three completely repellent people. The woman hasn't spoken in years, but is absolutely obsessed with her piano, seeming to care more about it than about any living person. Her emotions are expressed in either childish outbursts or soft caresses, depending on what point the filmmakers want to make. The husband himself is clearly SUPPOSED to be repellent. We know this because he combs his hair, because he doesn't hold much stock in Aboriginal superstition, and because . . . well, I don't know, just because the movie needs an annoying white guy so it can argue that it's bad to discriminate against people. The love interest, meanwhile, is downright creepy, lying under the piano and looking up the woman's skirt, but he's apparently supposed to be cool and dashing. And don't get me started on the Aborigines, at once held up as trophies of natural living and made "exotic" in a manner that mostly involves making them seem stupid. I confess I cannot figure out what anyone could have liked about this film.
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