Monday, November 21, 2011

Movie of the Week – The Pianist

This week’s movie is The Pianist (2002).

The Holocaust drama is the true story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a famous Jewish pianist living in Warsaw during the time of the Germany occupation of Poland. He is forced to live in the Warsaw ghetto and fights to survive in the city escaping the trains to the death camps. The film is directed by Roman Polanski (winning a Best Director Oscar) and is a very personal film for him (being a Jewish Pole).  It is also considered to be his masterwork (though an argument can be also made for Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby). He has an excellent group working with him on the film including wonderful composer Wojciech Kilar, cinematographer Pawel Edelman (who is a frequent collaborator) and production designer Allan Starski. The cast is also very good with one of the best performances of the decade by lead Adrien Brody (who won an Oscar for it), and good support from Thomas Kretschmann and Emilia Fox. There have been a number of well-made Holocaust films, but this is certainly one of the best (up there with Schindler’s List). It is a film that you need to see if you are interested in WWII, and it is a must-see for fans of Polanski (and among my favorite 25 films of the last decade). Check out the trailer here.

Available on Blu-ray, DVD and Streaming

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