The Pianist

The Top 63 Marathon, part 12

Title: The Pianist
Year: 2002
Length: 150 minutes
Director: Roman Polanski
Writer: Ronald Harwood, based on the book by Wladyslaw Szpilman
Starring: Adrien Brody
Music: Wojciech Kilar (and classical music)
Distinctions: Oscars for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor (Brody); Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Costume Design; currently #51 on the IMDb’s Top 250

My reaction
Synopsis: a Jew rides out WWII in Warsaw
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), yesterday
Concept: Indifferent.
Story: Indifferent. This movie is a perfect example of why I hate the phrase “based on a true story.” It’s not exactly the same holocaust movie that gets made every few years – the first hour or so is, but then it takes a slightly different turn. But still, there’s no creativity or craft to this story, and no room for it.
Characters: Indifferent. There’s really only the one significant character, and he’s just a guy trying to survive.
Dialog: Good.
Pacing: Indifferent. That first hour, which has been filmed dozens of times, is extremely dull.
Cinematography: Good.
Special effects/design: Great.
Acting: Great.
Music: Good.
Subjective Rating: 4/10 (Eh). It’s well made, but the script is pretty unexceptional. I was bored a lot, and when I wasn’t bored (there is a lot to appreciate), I still would rather have been doing something else.
Objective Rating: 2.7/4 (Good).


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