The Piano

I just spent a class period listening to at least five different students say Holly Hunter’s character in The Piano deserved to get her finger chopped off/get raped/die because she was a “tease.”

Are we so post- post- post- feminist that we’re back to 1963? Jesus.

Even had a female student say this — and that Ada was cruel because she teased Sam Neill’s character by feelin` on him in his bedroom. Aaaargh. I don’t think “teasing” was the objective there. I think she was trying to see if she could get that magic she had with Baines with Sam Neill, but she couldn’t, but that’s just me. I guess if you see it through movie-of-the-week glasses, that’s sort of what you get out of it.

Anyway, now I realize that The Piano (in my top five favorite and all-time-hottest movies lists) is extremely polarizing. What were your reactions to it? Have you seen it? Did it affect you differently recently than when it first came out? I sure had a different reaction to it this time. Like, now it makes sense to me that she lives. The movie wouldn’t have had a point to me now if she`d died, but when I first saw it I was *furious* that she lived and thought it was a cop out. Oh-oh-oh I`m a flip-flopper — must be a Demmycrat.

What do you think?


Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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  1. Sanguinity says:

    It made me sick. Physically ill, wish-I-had-walked-out, curl-up-in-bed-and-try-to-feel-safe-again sick.

  2. Angie says:

    I`m torn between hatred and apathy. I remember seeing it, I remember hating it, but I seem to blocked the rest… Probably my brain trying to recycle the few synapses available.

  3. RahRah says:

    I studied the soundtrack at college, and it is among my all time favorites… the movie was wonderful, also seeing some friends in the aussie/kiwi-filled cast was fantastic..

  4. Alena says:

    I think my reaction was similar to Sanguinity`s. Every now and then I`ll come across a movie or book whose story makes me feel physically ill, usually because I find certain tenets rather disturbing. I end up feeling sort of nauseous and heavy-stomached, if that makes any sense. In any case, what I remember of this movie is that it brought up that disturbed feeling. However… did I see the same movie as the pro-finger-chopping people? Good grief.

  5. katya says:

    I adore that movie, in part because I still don`t understand what makes Baines` behavior acceptable to Ada. Potter seems to leave out the clues that broader filmmakers would have thrown us concerning Ada`s hapless/hopeless attraction to Baines, but as it is, she just goes from “stop touching my leg” to “please teach me the ancient Maori art of nookie” in fewer moves than it would take Kasparov to beat an abacus. Which is something like what happens in actual human relations. As a pianist myself, I was pleased by the ending because it meant I could watch the movie countless times without falling into a Pit Of Despair(tm).

  6. Hypno-Toad says:

    OMG! This movie is a joke. And a really laugh out funny one too. You see I`m old enough to remember the Good Ol` days of pr0n films. The days when they were required to have “redeeming social value” to have the protection of the 1st Amendment aka cheesy plot. And the plot and storyline was a very common one. Repressed bride must be sexually awakened by mysterious exotic lover/pizza boy. It was also typical for a voyeur scene with hubby. What was so funny was knowing what was going to happen next because it was following the plot of a lame porno. Strange how none of those films were every championed as pro-woman. Best Supporting Actress for Anna Paquin? Puh-leeeeze p.s. Anyone else wonder why that piano didn`t devolop rot and warp?

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