There are many amazing films out there about well-known musicians and their lives. Are they, however, beautiful films about pianists in particular? Yes! There are several excellent documentaries on pianists, their life, and their hardships. Continue reading to learn more about great movies about piano players:
The Pianist (2002)
This film is based on the autobiographical book The Pianist (1946), which relates the life of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Holocaust survivor and pianist. Polanski’s film is masterful and unforgettable in every way, telling the story of a Jewish man hiding in flats around Warsaw as the Nazis’ harsh, terrible authority prepares to hunt down and kill the city’s surviving Jews. The film emphasizes the sheer beauty of piano music and its ability to transcend life, bring out the best in people, and bring them together.
The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005)
Tom Seyr is a city thief, leading a life of crime and cruelty in a gritty city. This character is played by Romain Duris (Chinese Puzzle (2013)). Surprisingly, he yearns for a completely different existence and aspires to be a concert pianist. Can his blossoming friendship with his lovely instructor change the heart of a guy who was once violent? This adaptation of the 1978 American film Fingers includes a touching story about a man’s resolve to transform himself despite all odds, good performances, and a score by Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water (2017)).
The real-life of David Helfgott, an Australian pianist, is who inspires this film. He suffered a mental breakdown during his life and was even confined to several mental institutions. Played by Geoffrey Rush, Helfgott returns to the piano after years of professional absence, but at what cost? Shine is an inspirational, criminally underseen, and incredible film from 1996. Also, isn’t this one of the most dramatic piano scenes in cinema?
The Piano Teacher (2001)
Based on the 1983 novel The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek, this film may not be an easy watch exactly, but it is quite unflinching in its portrayal of intense passion and sexual repression. One young man becomes romantically involved with his older piano teacher in this story. The director is Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon (2009), Amour (2012)), and the lead role is played by the incredible Isabelle Huppert (Elle(2016)).
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