The Pianist (2002) (mini-review++)


(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

The mini-review:

The Pianist

acting 10

directing 8

writing 8

effects 7

editing 7

SW score: 40

4 out of 5 octopi

++ I’m a big fan of solo acts (Castaway, 127 Hours, The Martian). Only a very fine actor can deliver a performance almost entirely on their own. The Pianist is no exception. It’s one of the last movies set in the Holocaust that I saw. It’s not that I don’t think everything that needs to be said will ever be said about such a devastating development. But I just don’t personally want to watch anymore. And I’m not saying anyone should follow my lead. Like any good exploration of such an incalculable human experience, it focuses on a small slice. it is the story of a brilliant Jewish pianist who has to hide out in the bombed-out rubble of a city. It delicately follows the decline of his life from a happy artist to a barely surviving human husk. Adrien Brody deserved every accolade he received. For a movie where very little happened, I was consumed to find out what small miracle would happen next. This is due in no small part to the skill of Roman Polanski. I’m not going to comment on the well-known controversy surrounding him. What I will comment on is that he pulled out the most impressive performance of a very talented actor’s fine career and he moved a skeletal plot with powerful emotional beats and gripping tension and sadness.




(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 šŸ™, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feelingā€¦not that SW score is scientificā€¦but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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