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The Piano

After a long voyage from Scotland, pianist Ada McGrath and her young daughter, Flora, are left with all their belongings, including a piano, on a New Zealand beach. Ada, who has been mute since childhood, has been sold into marriage to a local man named Alisdair Stewart. Making little attempt to warm up to Alisdair, Ada soon becomes intrigued by his Maori-friendly acquaintance, George Baines, leading to tense, life-altering conflicts.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

75

Christian Science Monitor by David Sterritt

Although the action tends to become melodramatic and even overwrought at times, the imaginative power of Campion's images and emotional insights (especially with regard to the heroin) rarely allow the story to seem artificial or exaggerated. [12 Nov 1993]
80

Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

"Sweetie" and "An Angel at My Table" have taught us to expect startling as well as beautiful things from Jane Campion, and this assured and provocative third feature offers yet another lush parable--albeit a bit more calculated and commercially minded--about the perils and paradoxes of female self-expression.
100

Chicago Tribune by Michael Wilmington

In Jan Campion's The Piano, the emotions are deep, fierce, primordial. Sexuality overwhelms the film's characters like ocean waves blasting against a cliffside. [19 Nov 1993]
100

USA Today by Mike Clark

Campion's script is very well received, but the film finally makes it on cinematics: bleakly beautiful photography, haunting score, and good acting. [12 Nov 1993]
90

Time by Richard Corliss

Campion has spun a fable as potently romantic as a Bronte tale. But The Piano is also deeply cinematic. [22 Nov 1993]
100

The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Rick Groen

Great art is both immediately accessible and eternally elusive, having at its centre a powerful simplicity that speaks to anyone who cares to listen, that rewards every interpretation while embracing none. The Piano is great art.

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