Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Piano Teacher

Tyler has been pestering me for some time to see a certain film. Well, guess what, Tyler? I saw it.

The film in question is Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher. Tyler dubbed Isabelle Huppert's work (and frequently too) as "the best female acting performance I have ever seen". It's a damn good performance no doubt about it, though I can't sing the same praises as Tyler. (My vote for greatest female performance seen is Gena Rowlands in either A Woman Under the Influence or Opening Night.)

That doesn't mean it's a bad performance. It's a bold piece of work from Huppert. Her character of Erika keeps a persistent blank look on her face, her mouth only twitching to a faint smile when she listens to someone play the piano masterfully. (There's a similar reaction from her student Walter (Benoit Magimel) with the same thing.)

The audience never really learns of what made Erika the woman she is today. It's slightly frustrating to be honest. (Yes, a similar scenario happens in Shame, but Steve McQueen and Abi Morgan knew what they were doing.) All we pretty much know is that this woman has a kinky nature underneath her composed veneer.

The Piano Teacher by all means isn't a great film but also isn't a bad one either. Regardless of what Tyler says about it, I wasn't heavily impressed by Huppert's work. (I think he hyped it too much.) Still, this and Black Swan would make a badass double feature.

My Rating: ****


  1. Ha... I have a shitty tendency to hype things too much. I just get really excited about this movie. I'll try not to hype it up (or any other movie) too much from now on. Glad you liked it though.

  2. I liked this movie. I saw it after watching a documentary called "Indie Sex" on IFC.

  3. Great review!Cool that you mention Black Swan - I actually watch The Piano Teacher soon after that one, researching movies that deal with similiar disturbed heroines and it became one of my favorites.

  4. Ha, I love how this is basically a review based on how Tyler overhyped it.

    I didn't like this film very much at all, but I did think Huppert was amazing and that it was quite well made.


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