HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Maeve
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
   
 
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  Grand Piano The Keys To Suspense
Year: 2013
Director: Eugenio Mira
Stars: Elijah Wood, John Cusack, Kerry Bishé, Tamsin Egerton, Allen Leech, Don McManus, Alex Winter, Dee Wallace, Jim Arnold, Jack Taylor, Beth Trollan, Ricardo Alexander
Genre: Thriller, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) is the protégé of one of the greatest pianists of all time who has recently passed away, leaving the whereabouts of hs vast fortune unknown, not by Tom and not by his estate. The stage was set for him to follow in his mentor's footsteps as one of the most lauded of his profession, but some years ago it all went horribly wrong when Tom was trying to play a passage known as The Impossible Piece in front of a packed concert house and embarrassed himself by getting it wrong when he reached the final four bars. He has never recovered from the shame, which makes his return to the classic music arena all the more remarkable in light of the fact he plans to play it correctly this time. After all, there's plenty at stake...

Like the lives of himself and his wife, Emma (Kerry Bishé) in this Spanish-made, English language thriller that took a lot of stick for its ludicrous premise, especially from those who had actually been to classical concerts and were dead set on picking apart all the implausibilities inherent in the plot. What these critics didn't twig was that it was the sheer absurdity of the entire movie that made it entertaining; it was evidently aspiring to be a suspense work in the Alfred Hitchcock mould, only dressed up with fancy new technology the master would not have had access to in order to enhance the twists and turns of the farfetched narrative. Whether Hitch would have used them at all was a moot point.

You could observe that while the famed director liked what is now termed a high concept, he rarely got absolutely preposterous, or if he did there was a crucial element that was missing here: he convinced us while we were watching that the threat, the premise, was credible. In this case, when Tom finally gets to the stage and is commencing his first tune, he is nervous enough as it is and has no plans to attempt the Impossible Piece, though you're way ahead of him if you think he's going to give it a try eventually, perhaps for the grand finale? What persuades him are notes written in blood red on his sheet music which tell him in no uncertain terms that should Tom hit a bum note tonight, then he will die, and there's one of those laser dots flitting over the keys to prove someone has him in his rifle sights.

Emma might get it in the neck too, so who are we dealing with? Some crazed fan or a man with a grudge, or someone with a motive he has no intention of sharing with Tom? To say more would be to spoil what is a pricelessly foolish notion, but suffice to say it has something to do with the grand piano Tom is playing on (and nothing to do with his surname bizarrely being Selznick - were the producers hoping for a Gone With the Wind-sized success? Nothing wrong with optimism). For a fair stretch of the drama it seems as if the would-be killer is some extreme aesthete, demanding that classical music be performed with the utmost rigour, which would be no less sensible than the actual reason, but how does Tom know what is expected of him?

That's because he's been given an earpiece the baddie (husky-voiced John Cusack) speaks to him through as Tom sits at the instrument, making use of that technology as well as introducing that bane of the thriller writers' lives, the mobile phone. Here author Damien Chazelle uses it to his advantage as our perspiring hero manages to text a couple of Emma's friends (Tamsin Egerton and Allen Leech) to raise the alarm, working out that they are such Philistines they wouldn't have switched their phones off. But this is a false hope, as the villain has all the chances of escape covered, including placing Alex Winter of all people backstage as his strongarm henchman, leaving Tom with no option but to keep hammering away until he must eventually reckon with the trickiest opus known to mankind, or so this would have us believe. Director Eugenio Mira, aware that this could look a bit samey since it was mainly set in one location, offered an abundance of style to dress up the characters' activities, which only serves to render it all the more delirious. Yes, it was stupid, but it was a lot of fun too. Music by Victor Reyes.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2613 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: