HOME PAGE
Movie Videos
Films by Year
Films by Director
Films by Actor
Films by Actress
Films by Alphabet
Film Characters
Film Franchises

TOP 100 MOVIES in 2002!


2013 MOVIES
2012 MOVIES
2011 MOVIES
2010 MOVIES
2009 MOVIES
2008 MOVIES
2007 MOVIES
2006 MOVIES
2005 MOVIES
2004 MOVIES
2003 MOVIES
2002 MOVIES
2001 MOVIES
2000 MOVIES
1999 MOVIES
1998 MOVIES
1997 MOVIES
1996 MOVIES
1995 MOVIES
1994 MOVIES
1993 MOVIES
1992 MOVIES
1991 MOVIES
1990 MOVIES
1989 MOVIES
1988 MOVIES
1987 MOVIES
1986 MOVIES
1985 MOVIES
1984 MOVIES
1983 MOVIES
1982 MOVIES
1981 MOVIES
1980 MOVIES
1979 MOVIES
1978 MOVIES
1977 MOVIES
1976 MOVIES
1975 MOVIES
1974 MOVIES
1973 MOVIES
1972 MOVIES
1971 MOVIES
1970 MOVIES
1969 MOVIES
1968 MOVIES
1967 MOVIES
1966 MOVIES
1965 MOVIES
1964 MOVIES
1963 MOVIES
1962 MOVIES
1961 MOVIES
1960 MOVIES
1959 MOVIES
1958 MOVIES
1957 MOVIES
1956 MOVIES
1955 MOVIES
1954 MOVIES
1953 MOVIES
1952 MOVIES
1951 MOVIES
1950 MOVIES
1949 MOVIES
1948 MOVIES
1947 MOVIES
1946 MOVIES
1945 MOVIES
1944 MOVIES
1943 MOVIES
1942 MOVIES
1941 MOVIES
1940 MOVIES
1939 MOVIES
1938 MOVIES
1937 MOVIES
1936 MOVIES
1935 MOVIES
1934 MOVIES
1933 MOVIES
1932 MOVIES
1931 MOVIES
1930 MOVIES
1929 MOVIES
1928 MOVIES
1927 MOVIES
1926 MOVIES
1925 MOVIES
1924 MOVIES
1923 MOVIES
1922 MOVIES
1921 MOVIES
1920 MOVIES
1919 MOVIES
1918 MOVIES
1917 MOVIES
1916 MOVIES
1915 MOVIES
1914 MOVIES
1913 MOVIES
1912 MOVIES
1911 MOVIES
1910 MOVIES

Subscribe To This Site
XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

THE PIANIST ,2002
Movie Reviews!

Search 1,000 of MOVIES
CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
2002 MOVIE BESTTOP 100 MOVIES from 2002


See the LIST
TOP 100TOP 100 LISTS WEBSITE
Best of photos, movies, sex and everything else!
2013 MOVIES2013 MOVIES
See all of 2013 films!
 MOVIES YEAR BY YEAR

See and watch films 1900 to present!
WATCH VIDEO MOVIE REVIEW:

THE PIANIST MOVIE POSTER
THE PIANIST, 2002
Movie Reviews

Directed by Roman Polanski
Starring: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann
Review by Christopher Stacy



SYNOPSIS:A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

WON 3 OSCARS: Best Actor (Brody), Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay

NOMINATED for 4 more OSCARS: Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Picture

CLICK HERE and watch 2009 MOVIES FOR FREE!

REVIEW:

Decades after the end of World War II, its subject matter, particularly the atrocities perpetrated against the Jews, remains recurring subject matter for mainstream Hollywood movies. This is due in no small part to the horrifying true stories and the lack of embellishment that is required to bring such stories to the big screen. In some instances, the War is examined through the eyes of many soldiers, as in “Saving Private Ryan,” and in others, the plight of the Jewish people is brought to light through the thousands that suffered, as in “Schindler’s List.”

But few movies have had the profound emotional impact that comes from viewing the nightmare through the eyes of just one man. Yet, that horrifying reality came to be seen through just one survivor’s eyes in 2002’s “The Pianist.” Directed by Roman Polanski, “The Pianist” shrinks the macrocosm of the Holocaust into the microcosm of one man’s experiences. That man is Wladyslaw Szpilman, as portrayed by Adrien Brody. To make the story even more compelling and more difficult to just walk away from, it is based on actual events.

Szpilman, a man in his twenties, lives with his three grown up siblings – two sisters and a brother – along with their elder parents in Warsaw. As the story begins, Szpilman plays piano for Polish radio, but when the German army advances into Poland, the family’s life is turned upside down. They are forced to move to the Warsaw Ghetto, where living conditions are absolutely horrible. The family of six is forced to live in a three-room apartment. As the Nazis build a fence around the Jewish Ghetto, their cramped living quarters become almost unbearable.

Szpilman’s Polish radio station is knocked off the air, but he still finds a way to practice the vocation that he loves so dearly. Szpilman plays in a Warsaw café that is frequented by German sympathizers. This causes a rift between Wladyslaw and his brother, Henryk, who views Wladyslaw as a sellout. Yet, as Wladyslaw points out, it is his effort that contributes to the food on the family’s table. The issue here, then, becomes what lengths one is willing to go to in order to feed and protect his family. Szpilman is constantly aware of the delicate balance that he must maintain between cozying up to the enemy and keeping a professional distance. He views his piano playing as just a job to put a little bread on the table.

Conditions for the Szpilman’s, and the thousands of others in the Warsaw ghetto, continue to deteriorate. Curfews are implemented, Jews are required to wear identifying patches on their clothing, and most terrible of all, the Nazi Stormtroopers periodically terrorize the ghetto by seeking out and assassinating entire families. The Szpilman’s watch in horror as neighbors across the alleyway are sadistically slaughtered. More so than the rest of his family, Wladyslaw is able to keep his cool. He is able to keep his horror, anger and anguish bottled in, and once again, it’s his music that seems to be his sanctuary, his only relief from the unspeakable horrors all around him.

Vladyslaw’s sister, Halina, and Henryk are taken to a Nazi work camp, and the fears are that they shall never return. Yet, some weeks later, Halina and Henryk are returned to their family. The Szpilman’s are overjoyed by their safe return, but here, the viewer can infer something much more ominous. Have certain family members been returned safely merely to placate their families? Is this all orchestrated to give the Jewish families a false sense of hope? A couple of the old-timers discuss that perhaps they are just labor camps after all, but another elder Jew chimes in and insists that they’re slowly being sent to their deaths.

While they await their next fates, the Szpilman’s rejoice in the brief moment of relief and restrained happiness that they feel just by being together again. Their undying family bond, even in the face of likely doom, is bolstered by their sharing a single piece of chocolate. With a tiny pen knife, Papa Szpilman concentrates and cuts the little chocolate into six equal pieces. The family savors the sweetness on their tongues. The moment is fleeting, but it is a moment they can share as a family.

That moment is short-lived. The Nazi SS rounds up nearly all of the remaining Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto and load them onto train cars intended for livestock. Wladyslaw’s life is spared by Itzhak, a Pole-turned-Nazi sympathizer. Itzhak pulls Wladyslaw from the line to the train cars and tells him to just get away, to walk, to “don’t run,” away from the staging area. It is a decision that most humans could not bear to make – does Wladyslaw walk away, or does he stay with his family. Itzhak says that he’s “saved your life! Now just go! Go!” With that, Szpilman walks away, leaving his entire family to board the trains to the Nazi death camps.

“The Pianist” captures with painful clarity the impossible decisions that common people will someday face. How many of us would save our own lives, and how many would stay with our families? It is a question that one can easily ask over and over with each subsequent viewing of this film. What would you have done?

Szpilman stays behind in the Warsaw Ghetto and joins a hard-labor work force. In his hungry, weakened condition, Szpilman cannot keep up with the intense physical labor, and it seems likely that his Nazi guards are going to simply execute him rather than tolerate his ineptness. In an act of desperation, Szpilman flees the Warsaw Ghetto, and with the help of friends on the outside – fellow, non-Jewish musicians, he goes into hiding. Szpilman is locked in a tiny apartment and visited infrequently by his handlers with food and water. When Szpilman is discovered, he must escape to a second hideaway – this time, an apartment right smack in the middle of Nazi territory. Literally right across the street from a Nazi hospital. Szpilman’s protectors insist that here – in the lion’s den – is where Wladyslaw will be safest.

Szpilman’s food and water grow sparse, and he is severely weakened by gout and malnourishment. When his hiding place is again discovered, Szpilman barely escapes out a back door even as Nazi tanks demolish the building all around him. Szpilan dodges falling bricks, dead bodies and mortar as he flees the building. Eventually, Szpilman settles into the now-abandoned Nazi hospital. But this building is soon likewise fireblasted by the Germans. Szpilman escapes into the Warsaw Ghetto – blocks and blocks, miles and miles, of bombed-out buildings. Warsaw has become an apocalypse, a hell on earth.

While hiding in one of the bombed-out buildings, Szpilman is discovered by a Nazi, Captain Hosenfeld. Szpilman is terrified beyond words, certain he’s about to be shot on the spot. Instead, Hosenfelt asks what Szpilman does for a living. Szpilman explains he is – or was – a pianist. Hosenfeld is skeptical. He leads Szpilman to a piano and demands that he plays. As Szpilman begins to play, he seems shaky, due probably to his weakness and his nerves. The audience worries that he’s going to blow this and get killed for lying. But then, Szpilman comes alive. He plays an incredibly moving piece that brings tears to Hosenfeld’s eyes.

In the coming days, Hosenfeld brings Szpilman food and water and warmer clothes. Just days later, the Russians arrive in Poland, having successfully defeated the Nazis, and Szpilman is free. Hosenfeld, meanwhile, has been taken P.O.W., and despite Szpilman’s attempts to save the man that had saved him, Wladyslaw never sees Captain Hosenfeld again.

“The Pianist” was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and it won for Best Adapted Screenplay (Ronald Harwood), Best Director (Roman Polanski), and Best Actor (Adrien Brody). Brody was one of the youngest to ever win Best Actor, and he was up against such stalwarts as Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine, Daniel Day Lewis and Nicolas Cage. The Academy’s recognition reaffirmed the fact that Brody’s performance was one for the ages. His ability to portray Szpilman at the depths of despair, but also his refusal to ever give up, his indominitable human spirit, are as moving the fiftieth viewing as they were the first. The film’s cinematography magnificently captured the horrors of the destruction of Warsaw, and the set designers conveyed to the audience just how cramped Szpilman’s hiding places truly were.

At first glance, “The Pianist” might seem too bleak and depressing for most viewers, but at its core, the movie is about the triumph of the human spirit in the face of unspeakable adversity and tragedy. Were it not for the once-in-a-lifetime performance of Adrien Brody, the movie probably would have failed in conveying said message. But Brody’s Szpilman reminds us that on a day-to-day basis, whatever adversities we may face, we can endure. Some movies are meant to entertain, or to bring important issues to our attention, but others, like “The Pianist,” are meant to inspire. Thanks to Polanski’s direction and Adrien Brody’s overwhelming range of emotions, “The Pianist” will forever remain one of the most inspirational movies that Hollywood has ever produced.

SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
NEW MOVIE REVIEWSNEW MOVIE REVIEWS
Read Today's POSTED REVIEWS
MOVIE KILLSEE 1000s of PICTURES
Best of photos, images and pics
MOVIE YEARMOVIES YEAR BY YEAR
Pages from 1900 to present


The Pianist


footer for The Pianist page