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The Piano Teacher

The Piano Teacher
Movie: The Piano Teacher(2001)[tt0254686] Erika Kohut is a pianist, teaching music. Schubert and Schumann are her forte, but she's not quite at concert level. She's approaching middle age, living with her mother who is domineering then submissive; Erika is a victim then combative. With her students she is severe. She visits a sex shop to watch DVDs; she walks a drive-in theater to stare at couples having sex. Walter is a self-assured student with some musical talent; he auditions for her class and is forthright in his attraction to her. She responds coldly then demands he let her lead. Next she changes the game with a letter, inviting him into her fantasies. How will he respond; how does sex have power over our other faculties? Written by<jhailey@hotmail.com>
Title The Piano Teacher
Release Date 9 November 2001 (UK)
Runtime
Genres Drama
Production Companies ARTE, Arte France Cinéma, Bavaria Film International
Isabelle Huppert
Isabelle Huppert...
Erika Kohut...
Annie Girardot
Annie Girardot...
The Mother...
Benoît Magimel
Benoît Magimel...
Walter Klemmer...
Susanne Lothar
Susanne Lothar...
Mrs. Schober...
Udo Samel
Udo Samel...
Dr. George Blonskij...
Anna Sigalevitch
Anna Sigalevitch...
Anna Schober...
Cornelia Köndgen
Cornelia Köndgen...
Mme Gerda Blonskij...
Georg Friedrich
Georg Friedrich...
Man in drive-in...
Dieter Berner
Dieter Berner...
Singing teacher...

Reviews

mcnally on 10 September 2002
I saw this film at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival. La Pianiste reinforces the "Austrians=grim" thesis I'm formulating. Isabelle Huppert won a well-deserved Best Actress award at Cannes for her portrayal of a woman who, in her efforts to attain the artistic ideal, loses her humanity. Trapped by her talent, she suppresses her emotions and her sexuality until they can only be expressed in twisted and terrifying ways. When a younger student falls in love with her, our hopes rise, but are soon dashed by the realization that she cannot experience love the way others can. It is too late for her, and the film's final 30 harrowing minutes are, tellingly, devoid of the beautiful music that carried the first 90 minutes. The message seems to be that the music itself is not enough without the life and beauty it's describing.

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