‘The Piano’ at Russian CentreView(s):
Oscar awarded 1993 drama film ‘The Piano’ will be screened at 6 pm on Friday, September 28 at Russian Centre Auditorium, Colombo 7.
Set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier backwater on the west coast of New Zealand, the film was written and directed by Jane Campion, and stars Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, and Anna Paquin.
It features a score for the piano by Michael Nyman which became a bestselling soundtrack album. Hunter played her own piano pieces for the film, and also served as sign language teacher for Paquin, earning three screen credits.
The Piano tells the story of a mute Scotswoman, Ada McGrath (Hunter), whose father sells her into marriage to a New Zealand frontierman, Alistair Stewart (Neill). She is shipped off along with her young daughter Flora McGrath (Paquin). Ada has not spoken a word since she was six years old, expressing herself instead through her piano playing and through sign language for which her daughter has served as the interpreter.
Ada cares little for the mundane world, occupying herself for hours every day with the piano. It is never made explicitly clear why she ceased to speak. Flora, it is later learned, is the product of a relationship with a teacher whom Ada believed she could control with her mind, making him love her, but who “became frightened and stopped listening,” and thus left her.
The film was an international co-production by Australian producer Jan Chapman with the French company Ciby 2000. At the 66th Academy Awards, The Piano won three awards: Best Actress for Hunter, Best Supporting Actress for Paquin, and Best Original Screenplay.
Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin received high praise for their roles as Ada McGrath and Flora McGrath. Paquin, who at the time was 11 years old, is the second youngest Oscar winner ever, after Tatum O’Neal, who also won the Supporting Actress award in 1974 for Paper Moon, at 10.
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