Saturday, June 11, 2016

967. The Pianist

The Pianist
Directed by Roman Polanski

I know we are supposed to separate the man from the artist, but it is hard for me to get on board with that theory, especially considering the fact that the Academy gave a known rapist a Best Director Oscar.  I guess we can just discuss the film, but I am going on record saying I feel a tad gross about it.

Basically, Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jewish pianist, struggles to survive during World War II.  His family is forced from their home into the Warsaw Ghetto, where Szpilman witnesses unfathomable suffering.  In August of 1942, his family is transported to the Treblinka extermination camp.

Essentially, this is the European Schindler's List and, as you can probably guess, it is upsetting as hell.  It even horrified me enough to do additional research on Treblinka.  If you look up the camp, I would advise having a tab open containing images of baby sloths so you don't drown in your own tears.  I have to, of course, fawn over Adrien Brody.   His performance was truly brilliant and deeply moving.

Obliviously an extremely difficult film to watch, but it is ultimately rewarding.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Roman Polanski's parents were sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust.  His father survived, but his mother did not.  During filming Polanski met a man who helped the Polanski family during the war.

Adrien Brody learned how to play the piano for the film.

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