Campion became the first female director to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes for this singularly haunting and beautiful tale, suffused with her anthropological, literary, and surrealist impulses. In the 19th century, mute Scotswoman Ada and her young daughter (Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin, who both won Oscars for their roles) move to remote coastal New Zealand to meet her new husband, Stewart (Sam Neill). After he sells her beloved piano—her preferred means of communication—to Baines (Harvey Keitel), Stewart’s employee and a local eccentric, Ada agrees to repossess her property through sexual favors. A mysterious and subdued romance as well as a fearless depiction of power and sexuality, The Piano announced to audiences worldwide the boldly original talent already on display in Sweetie and An Angel at My Table. An NYFF31 selection. Print Courtesy of the Yale Film Study Center.
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