The Pianist (2002) REALLY Short Review
This movie surprised in that it was a Roman Polanski film that didn’t feel like a Polanski film. The story was told fairly straightforward and without the usual odd quirkiness that is Polanski’s fingerprint (at least until a brief moment when the Russians show up). It doesn’t really have a character arc as in most narratives, but this is an account. Maybe that’s the point. He’s a pianist at the beginning of the war and by war’s end, he hasn’t changed in that regard. He’s just surviving until the storm passes.
Adrien Brody does a good job in this, but he wouldn’t have been my choice for best actor that year (Jack Nicholson… Daniel Day Lewis… Nicolas Cage… Even Adam Sandler… Yes, Adam Sandler). I do wonder why Polanski chose this story, though, after having passed on Schindler’s List (because it was ‘too personal to his own experiences’). I would think this would be also. In any case, it’s an engaging story of survival that focuses on one man slipping through the tyrannical grip of the Nazis and surviving. Good movie, worth seeing.
It didn’t quite make my Top 10 List of 2002, but that’s okay because there were so many great movies that year I expanded it to a List of 20.