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The Piano

4.1 10
Director: Jane Campion

Cast: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill


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Jane Campion's multiple award-winning film The Piano comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Surround. There are no subtitles, but the soundtrack is closed-captioned. Supplemental materials include production notes, information on the cast and crew


Jane Campion's multiple award-winning film The Piano comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Surround. There are no subtitles, but the soundtrack is closed-captioned. Supplemental materials include production notes, information on the cast and crew, and the theatrical trailer. This disc is a little disappointing, but Artisan's low list price makes it worthwhile. Hopefully Artisan will one day give this great film the same attention it lavished on The Blair Witch Project.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Not just another costume drama, Jane Campion's The Piano (1993) lushly visualizes the emotional complexities of a 19th century woman's sexual awakening. Mute in a world that silences women, Ada has to find other means to express her responses to the untamed New Zealand landscape, her stiff husband Stewart, and the sensualist Baines. The elliptical narrative minimizes rational explanations in favor of visceral and emotional effects, often structured around parallels between Ada and the natural environment that surrounds her. While Ada's cumbersome 19th century clothes are initially at odds with the muddy forest, Campion reveals Ada's adaptability with a hoop skirt tent, and her reservoirs of passion with the parallel between braids of her hair and forest vines. Stewart, living amidst burnt-out trees, cannot fathom Ada's attachment to her piano, while natural man Baines understands her ardor when he hears and watches her on the open beach. Baines' piano blackmail is transformed into Ada's only path to selfhood; it is a meeting of two rebellious minds and bodies glimpsed voyeuristically by a culture that cannot comprehend its own erotic instincts. Co-winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, The Piano received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, winning Best Original Screenplay for Campion, Best Supporting Actress for Anna Paquin's resentful daughter, and Best Actress for Holly Hunter's finely tuned Ada.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Full Frame, Full Frame]

Special Features

Widescreen and standard; Digitally mastered; 2.0 Dolby Surround; Interactive menus; Scene access; Theatrical trailer; Production notes; Cast and crew information

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Holly Hunter Ada McGrath
Harvey Keitel George Baines
Sam Neill Stewart
Anna Paquin Flora McGrath
Kerry Walker Aunt Morag
Genevieve Lemon Nessie
Alison Barrett Actor
Susie Figgis Actor
Diana Rowan Actor
Tungia Baker Hira
Ian Mune Reverend
Peter Dennett Head Seaman
Te Whatanui Skimworth Chief Nihe
Pete Smith Hone
Bruce Allpress Blind Piano Tuner
Cliff Curtis Mana
Eru Potaka-Dewes Pitama
Greg Johnson Seaman
Jon Brazier Wedding Photographer
Karen Colston Bluebeard's Wife
Julian Lee Cloud Carrier Boy
George Boyle Flora's Grandfather
Stephen Hall Seaman

Technical Credits
Jane Campion Director,Screenwriter
Alun Bollinger Camera Operator
Jan Chapman Producer
Alain Depardieu Executive Producer
Stuart Dryburgh Cinematographer
Veronika Jenet Editor
Andrew McAlpine Production Designer
Michael Nyman Score Composer
Janet Patterson Costumes/Costume Designer
Lee Smith Sound/Sound Designer
Mark Turnbull Associate Producer

Scene Index

scene index
1. Main Credits [4:13]
2. Arrival [3:22]
3. Waiting [3:16]
4. Moving [3:44]
5. Abandonment [2:04]
6. The Photograph [3:37]
7. An Offer [4:20]
8. Reunited [5:33]
9. "It's Mine" [2:32]
10. Incomplete [2:02]
11. Tune-Up [2:06]
12. Black Keys [3:35]
13. A Beginning [4:33]
14. "Slowly" [2:36]
15. 2 Keys [2:51]
16. Teaching [2:05]
17. 5 Keys [2:35]
18. A Storm [5:18]
19. 10 Keys [3:43]
20. Bad Behavior [1:21]
21. A Present [3:27]
22. "Play a Song" [2:25]
23. "To Hell" [1:54]
24. "Go Home" [3:22]
25. "Do You Love Me?" [4:15]
26. Barricade [3:49]
27. Sleepwalking [2:31]
28. Savages [2:53]
29. Trust [5:04]
30. Messenger [4:27]
31. The Warning [3:52]
32. Madness [3:29]
33. The Voyage [2:41]
34. Overboard [4:20]
35. Silence [2:25]
36. End Credits [4:16]


Customer Reviews

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The Piano 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I truly loved this film. I loved the characters, the music, the cinematography, the story line...everything!!! Yes, the daughter came off as a bit of a brat, but that did not take away from the beauty of the film or the story. I can not imagine anyone finding this movie "boring"...if you have a romantic bone in your body "and you have a pulse" then I should think that you too, will love this film. I came online today hoping to find that this film was adapted from a novel as I was so hoping to read it...I watched the film several months ago and have not been able to "forget" it...I am not sure how anyone could claim that this was a "forgettable" movie...I am sure that even Simon Cowell would be impressed with this film!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie shows betrayal, passion, and empowerment. it is not just the music that empowers the character ada, but it is her silence driven by her will which lets her have the final say. and no matter what any man tries to pull on her, in the end, she is her own woman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In The Piano, Ada Mc Grath is branded a fallen woman, an outcast by the standards of Victorian England because of the illegitimate birth of her daughter, Flora. As punishment, Ada¿s father sends her as a mail order bride to wed the insipid land grubbing, Stewart. Ada and her nine-year-old daughter are sent by sea into the recently colonized New Zealand: a raw, desolate, dangerous wilderness where Stewart is working his land among the Mäori natives in the New Zealand bush. The story begins with Ada, a mute speaking to us through her mind. We hear her narrative voice at the beginning and at the end of the movie but she communicates with us throughout the movie, capturing our imagination through signing, her body language and her music. We see the first of Ada¿s strong will and determination when she shows her anger as the obstinate Stewart declares that her cherished piano cannot be carried. She signs to her daughter that she wants to know when they could send the men back to pick it up and the rage she feels when (old dry balls as the natives laughingly call him) shows no concern or understanding for her predicament. Stewart smiles at her; she does not smile back. As the party ascends to the top of the cliff, Ada pauses to look sadly down on the beach where the raging surf crashes in around her piano. Later, Ada and Flora go to Baines¿s, the Mäori native with the tattooed face, and convince him to take them back to the beach where she and her daughter play all day; Baines, listening to her music, watching her play, seeing her emotions and the joy her music brings, is falling for her. Baines does not see her as silenced the way Stewart does. It is Baines who rescues the piano for her, making a deal with the greedy Stewart. As part of the deal (Baines swaps the piano for 50 acres of land) he says that Ada must give him lessons otherwise the piano is no good to him. When Stewart tells Ada, she flies into a rage, breaking cups, stamping her feet, pulling laundry off the line; she then writes a little note, (`The piano is mine. It¿s mine!¿) Stewart reacts with a violent display of silencing her by slamming his hand down on the table; he tells her they are a family now and she will have to make sacrifices like he has had to do. Without her piano, Ada feels the confinement of Stewart¿s cabin as very claustrophobic, cramped, and limiting, too silent. We can see her clearly as Stewart¿s possession, subject to his will but she does not smile nor does she cry. Her emotions are contained so she goes to Baines to give him lessons on her beautiful piano. Passion and betrayal rage in the movie and it is said that Ada ''...doesn¿t play like we do. She plays like a mood that passes into you¿.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this film several years ago because I am a fan of Sam Neill. I had seen Harvey Keitel in several films, and I think Holly Hunter in one previous to this. The beautiful New Zealand locations and the excellent performances could not redeem this story about a willful, manipulative woman and her equally self-centered offspring. I hated Ada with a passion, within about 20 minutes of the opening. She is so selfish that she doesn't care for the plight of other women, but only what she can get for herself. She even uses her child to wheedle what she wants from the men and women around her. By the time her husband took her fingertip, I was rooting for him to cut her skull open with that axe. At the end of the film I couldn't decide who was worse off, her husband for losing her (with the financial investment he made in bringing her to NZ and his genuine attempts to love and care for her), or her lover, for getting stuck with her. We never learned if the catharsis of abandoning even her own suicide actually helped Ada grow into some kind of whole human being. I have never watched this film again, and I hope I never encounter a woman like Ada.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jane Campion's 'The Piano' comes across as nothing more than a pretentious and dull piece of melo-dramatic cinema. Its only saving grace is the beutiful cinematography of New Zealand's untamed wilderness and a strong performance by Harvey Keitel. One finds it hard to associate with either Ada (Holly Hunter) or her pretentious daughter Flora (Anna Paquin.) Their prudish and overly self-righteous personalities simply evoke no sympathy. Anna Paquin's character acting as Hunter's mouthpiece added to the irritation: after two-hours of listenting to a child's incessant temper tantrums, I lost all interest in the film's direction. Overall, a very forgettable melo-drama about a prudish woman with a pretentious and insolent daughter who both feel that life in the colonies should revolve only around their needs. A real yawner where the only things that keep you awake are the overly irritating temper tantrums of Anna Paquin's character.