Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Pianist

If you've never seen this film, do so. But be warned: This flick does not simply tug at your heart-strings; it tears at them. I was completely unprepared for the emotional tumult this movie put me through.

Based upon Wladyslaw Szpilman's autobiography and directed by Roman Polanski, this movie stars Adrien Brody as Szpilman, a pianist living in Warsaw, Poland in 1938. Guess who comes to visit? The movie is about Szpilman's struggle to survive in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi occupation.

Polanski did not pull any punches with this one, and considering that both of his parents were taken from Poland to concentration camps (where his mother eventually died) and that he himself escaped from the Nazi's as a boy, I can't imagine what making this movie did to him emotionally.

Adrien Brody's performance is truly inspired. And after seeing this movie, I now understand why he won an Oscar for this role.

I really don't have much more to say about this movie other than that it's a must watch, even if you can only sit through it once (as previously mentioned, this movie is pretty brutal). The Pianist truly is a cinematic masterpiece.

I'll leave you with Chopin's Ballade No. 1, which is performed during what is probably one of the single most heart wrenching scenes in history:

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