The Piano

The Piano ★★★★★

“It is a weird lullaby, and so it is. It is mine.”

Watched for a paper about patriarchy and female identity as represented in various loose cinematic retellings of “Bluebeard”. This movie’s reputation (Period erotic drama! Inspired by poetry and anti-colonialist literature! “Music by Michael Nyman”!) somehow managed to intimidate me out of watching it since high school, where... fuck it, that’s a long story that I don’t feel like telling. To keep it short, I’ve always been overwhelmed by the prospect of finally watching this right up until two hours ago, at which point I realized “holy shit, this isn’t an inaccessible monolith of literary references and endless sadness” and my fears just melted away. Campion’s direction is nothing short of astonishing - every aspect of the film, from its score to its cinematography to its editing, shines, but nothing overpowers anything else. Okay, fine. Holly Hunter, Anna Paquin, and Sam Neill overpower everything else, but I’d be disappointed if they didn’t... look, this is just a good movie, okay? We all get to break down into incoherent ramblings once in a while, and I’M NOT CRYING ABOUT THAT ENDING, I PROMISE. At least I’m finally over my apprehension about this film, and can go back to being intimidated by normal things like finals, the degradation of American public discourse, and the idea of having to eventually watch a Tarkovsky movie. (Peter Greenaway, however, no longer applies here, because if the clips we watched in production class last week are any indication, I think I’m going to like him.)

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