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Sunday, August 28, 2011

My review of The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste)

Acting/characters: The mother in this film treats her daughter like absolute garbage and then guilt trips her to make her feel bad for hurting her poor old mother. People like that repulse me. she controls or criticizes her daughter's every move. Now I'm not psychologist, but it seems that her mother is imprinting the bad memories of their time together on their daughter so she will live forever in her daughter's memory. I intensely disliked the characters in the film. If they weren't being idiotic they were being petty and shallow. As I mentioned before, the mother was a nosy, controlling cow who put herself before her daughter every time, the titular character was just twisted, and her love interest was just ridiculously stupid. was the film well acted? Well...I guess so. If the actors were trying to make me intensely dislike the characters they did a great job. I as an audience member go into a film expecting to relate, or at least sympathize, with one character. In most films that is key. if the audience has no one to relate to we don't care about anything that happens. I know I didn't. 4.5/10


Plot: During the film, there is a talk about Schumann and his slow descent into madness and I think it is no coincidence that that conversation was in this FUBAR film. Or at least it tried to be FUBAR I think, maybe I'm missing something, but this film was just so boring. Near the end of the film it got more interesting but not in the way I was hoping. It was disturbing. I don't know what the filmmakers were trying to get across with this. I know that this one is based off of a novel. Seriously though, what is the point? Maybe I missed something. The whole film is in French so maybe something got lost in translation. I know that the filmmakers wanted to make the audience repulsed by the protagonist. They did a good job of that. It fluctuated between boring and sickening for me. I also felt that the first half of the film and the second half were two totally different movies almost. The first half was the titular character as a reserved jerk who is under the thumb of her domineering mother and she is a piano teacher. The second half is where things start to take a whole other turn. I didn't enjoy it but that's just me. 5/10

Screenplay: As I've previously mentioned, I have a tough time doing the screenplay portion of reviews for foreign language films. I never know what gets lost in translation. So, they might have a line in this film that I thought was stupid but in its original French it was something far better. However I didn't feel that it had any glaring flaws in it. It wasn't outstanding but I don't think that the screenplay itself was trying to be very deep. It was what wasn't spoken that was supposed to be the most brutal and powerful. It moved the story along pretty well and I didn't think it did a bad job. It is rare that I think a screenplay is the best part of the film but I think for this one it was. 8/10

Likableness: It was kind of a boring film with parts that definitely kept your attention. In a good way? well, that depends on each individual viewer. As for me, I don't think so. was it well made? I suppose so but it just wasn't my cup of tea. Maybe there was something that I missed. some hidden meaning that I overlooked. But can I in good faith recommend this to anyone? Sorry Jhon E, but no I can't. I saw it, I suppose I'm glad that I am just for the sake of expanding what kind of films that I have seen. But I don't need to watch it again. 5.5/10

Final Score: 23/40 57% (M)
Tomatometer rating: 73%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 72%


TRIVIA TIME: 1. Isabelle Huppert really played the piano in the film. She had studied piano for 12 years. As preparation for her role as a piano teacher, she resumed practicing a year before the film was started.

2. The character of the mother is based on author Elfriede Jelinek's real life mother...yeah, I figured.

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