A pianist with stage fright endures a performance under the eyes of a mysterious sniper, who will shoot and kill him if a wrong note is played.


Eugenio Mira


Damien Chazelle
5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Elijah Wood ... Tom Selznick
John Cusack ... Clem
Kerry Bishé ... Emma Selznick
Tamsin Egerton ... Ashley
Allen Leech ... Wayne
Don McManus ... Norman Reisinger
Alex Winter ... Assistant
Dee Wallace ... A & V Interviewer
Jim Arnold ... Janitor
Jack Taylor ... Patrick Godureaux
Beth Rollan ... Emma's Publicist (as Beth Trollan)
Amy Gwilliam Amy Gwilliam ... Emma's Assistant
Harris Gordon Harris Gordon ... Emma's Agent
Ricardo Alexander Ricardo Alexander ... Executive (as Richard A. Newby)
Brendan Murphy Brendan Murphy ... Mover #1


A pianist with stage fright endures a performance under the eyes of a mysterious sniper, who will shoot and kill him if a wrong note is played.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Play or Die See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Alex Winter's first non-cameo film acting role since Freaked (1993). See more »


The big concert starts at 9:30 PM, a strange time for any concert, let alone a standard classical one. See more »


[last lines]
Tom Selznick: I need to finish this...
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Crazy Credits

At the end of the credit roll we hear The Impossible Piece being played while the title shows. See more »


Referenced in Diminishing Returns: Oscars 2017 (2017) See more »


Ten Happy Fingers
Written by Dr. Seuss (as Theodore Geisel) and Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederick Hollander)
from The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953) (uncredited)
Used by permission of Shapiro Bernstein Spain Mood Music Division
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Industries,Inc.
Under license from Sony Pictures Music group
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User Reviews

Surprisingly suspenseful
22 September 2016 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

When pitched the idea might have seemed novel if hardly riveting, (a concert pianist about to perform finds a note on his sheet music telling him that if he plays a wrong note he and/or his wife will be killed), but this thriller, penned by current Hot Young Thing Damien Chazelle and directed by Eugenio Mira, is surprisingly suspenseful. Indeed this is the kind of conceit that Hitchcock might have toyed with, (something similar was seen some years back when Colin Farrell found himself trapped in a phone-box with a sniper's rifle trained on him). Of course, that movie, "Phone Booth" had the streets of the city to play with; the problem facing Mira is how to keep us glued to a limited set, (in this case a concert hall), and a fixed time span, not to mention 'inflicting', on perhaps a less than enthusiastic audience, a lot of semi-classical music. That he, and lead actor Elijah Woods, as well as the off-screen voice of potential killer John Cusack, pull it off is a credit to them all. Also, for something so seemingly insular, Mira makes excellent use of the widescreen. Perhaps more destined for cult status than mass consumption but certainly worth seeing.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Spain | UK | USA



Release Date:

25 October 2013 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Grand Piano See more »

Filming Locations:

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,964, 9 March 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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