I have never been convinced of the meaning of arranged marriages
but it seems that there was not much choice in 1800s (and I hear that in certain parts of the world, arranged marriages are still the norm). The Piano is set in the 1800s when a mute Scottish woman (Ada McGrath played by Holly Hunter) arrives in New Zealand to join her husband Alisdair Stewart (played by Sam Neill) along with Flora (played brilliantly by Anna Paquin), her daughter (we never see her father, but both mother and daughter talk about him a lot in private).
When Stewart comes to pick them up on the shore, he refuses to bring along Ada's most precious piece of luggage: a piano. Eventually, a neighbor George Baines (played by Harvey Keitel) rescues it and Stewart sells it to him. Naturally, Ada is disappointed but she can have it back if she comes to George's house to give him lessons. She does not like the arrangement, her relationship with Stewart is not going anywhere, she is generally unhappy living in a forest, but George and she develop an intimate bond
The movie has a happy ending but with a lot of traumatic moments prior to that. Holly Hunter has done a remarkable job playing the mute Ada and deserved the Oscar she received. The movie was given the best picture award at Cannes
. The movie is extremely slow-paced but definitely worth the wait.
Labels: ana paquin, cannes, harvey keitel, movie reviews, oscar, rachel hunter, sam neill