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The Pianist

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France, Poland, Germany · 2002
Rated R · 2h 30m
Director Roman Polanski
Starring Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman
Genre Drama, War

Based on the true story of composer and pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, he is forced to fight for survival as a Polish Jewish man in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. After being forced into the Warsaw Ghetto and separated from his family, Szpilman scavenges for food and shelter among the ruins of Warsaw to avoid being sent to a concentration camp.

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What are critics saying?


Newsweek by David Ansen

This powerful, precision-made movie offers hope as well -- an act of kindness from a German officer that saves the pianist’s life, the music that sustains his soul.


Los Angeles Times by Manohla Dargis

Never before has a fiction film so clearly and to such devastating effect laid out the calculation of the Nazi machinery of death and its irrationality.


Austin Chronicle by Marc Savlov

Szpilman takes to performing sonatas in thin air, eyes closed, those jittery fingers stroking nothing but air. It's a wonderful moment in a wonderful, ghastly film, and one of the most moving arguments for the redemptive powers of art ever made.


The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

Through Brody's remarkably controlled, self-effacing performance, Polanski succeeds in making his hero an invisible man, but the sights he conjures are surprisingly artless and ordinary, familiar from a dozen other Holocaust dramas. Among the casualties in The Pianist is a great director's imagination.


Boston Globe by Ty Burr

There are three Poles in The Pianist -- Szpilman, Polanski, and Frederic Chopin. Of the three, fittingly, Chopin speaks the loudest.

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