The Pianist


(out of 5)

Wladislaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew living with his family in 1940s Warsaw, has his life as a famous pianist turned completely around when Nazis invade and the city is turned into a war zone. This excellent film by Roman Polanski, which features more depth and skill than the director has shown in many years, details the Szpilman family’s life from being moved to the ghetto through to them being split apart and sent to the camps.  Wladislaw () is the only one who does not join the rest of his group, rescued by a friend and living in hiding until the end of the war when a curious twist of fate has his great talent serve him as a lifesaver. Brody’s performance is so fantastic that it literally gives this beautiful film its beating pulse; even when he spends endless amounts of time alone without any dialogue to work with, he is bringing us into his emotional state of being and making us feel what he is going through. Polanski hasn’t earned this much reverence as a film artist since maybe the days of Chinatown or Tess, and there’s no denying that this excellent film, which touches on his own experiences as a Holocaust survivor, is the best film on the subject right next to Schindler’s List (barring all the excellent documentaries). It’s a harrowing experience and one that unflinchingly details the unfathomable horrors of the Third Reich, but one filled with love and hope at the same time.

France/Poland/Germany/United Kingdom2002

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the book by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by , Roman Polanski,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  Cannes 2002

Cast Tags:  , , ,, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Academy Awards
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Adrien Brody as “Wladislaw Szpilman”)
Best Directing (Roman Polanski)
Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) (Ronald Harwood)

Best Cinematography (Pawel Edelman)
Best Costume Design (Anna Sheppard)
Best Film Editing (Herve de Luze)
Best Picture (Roman Polanski, Robert Benmussa, Alain Sarde, producers)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Motion Picture-Drama
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Adrien Brody)

National Society of Film Critics Awards
Best Film
Best Actor (Adrien Brody)
Best Director (Roman Polanski)
Best Screenplay (Ronald Harwood)

Best Cinematography (Pawel Edelman)

National Board Of Review Award
Top Ten Films

Cannes Film Festival Award
Palme D’Or

Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Adrien Brody)

Directors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Roman Polanski)

British Academy Awards
Best Film
David Lean Award for Direction (Roman Polanski)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Adrien Brody)
Best Screenplay – Adapted
Best Cinematography
Best Sound
Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music

European Film Award
Best European Cinematographer

Best European Film
Best European Director (Roman Polanski)
Audience Award-Best European Actor (Adrien Brody)

Cesar Awards
Best Film
Best Actor (Adrien Brody)
Best Director (Roman Polanski)
Best Cinematography
Best Sound
Best Music Written For A Film
Best Production Design

Best Screenplay, Original or Adaptation
Best Costume Design
Best Editing

Boston Film Critics Awards
Best Film
Best Actor (Adrien Brody)
Best Director (Roman Polanski)

Goya Award
Best European Film

Chicago Film Critics Award Nominations
Best Picture
Best Actor (Adrien Brody)
Best Director (Roman Polanski)



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