The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste) (2001)
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Critic Reviews for The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste)
This is a penetrating, deeply disturbing examination of desire and loneliness, of desperation and self-denial.
It is depressing, ruthlessly pained and depraved, the movie equivalent of staring into an open wound.
A gripping psychological thriller that, while lacking the power of Funny Games, is still the work of a master.
It is as unlikely that you have ever seen another movie like The Piano Teacher as it is that you will ever want to see another one.
A striking, brilliant film with extraordinary performances -- and Huppert's acting is heartrending.
Audience Reviews for The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste)
Formidable! What a performance by Huppert. But grim. Ouch, I had hit pause three times to get through it.
Art-house erotica done... again.
A sexually repressed piano teacher falls for one of her students.
Isabelle Huppert plays Erica with a reserved but volcanic sexuality that comes through in all her moments of compelling silence. Her performance is nuanced and courageous, especially when Erica's more vulnerable side is revealed. Hers is a character who begins being interesting when she fights with her mother, gets uninteresting when we realize how boring her day-to-day life is, and remains interesting for the rest of the film after she cuts her own vagina with a razor blade and spends her free time in a porn shop watching the quarter peep show films.
I was once in a creative writing workshop, and someone asked me why my character was the way he was. I didn't know how to answer. "Because that's just the way he is," I wanted to reply. But after watching The Piano Teacher, I understand the question better because it's the one flaw in the film. Why is Erica the way she is? What causes her disconnect from people? Her mother can't be blamed for everything, can she? This is where subtle backstory about her past relationships and her early development would've been enlightening.
Overall, I liked The Piano Teacher, especially Huppert's performance, but I still think there's something important missing in the character's construction.
Disturbing and indecent, but a brilliant character dichotomy exploring themes on desires and depression. The Piano Teacher is an honest and daring wild arousal to curiosity. Remarks a rhetorical question, "what is your dark secret?" Harrowing.
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