The Piano. 1993. New Zealand/Australia/France. Written and directed by Jane Campion. With Holly Hunter, Anna Paquin, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill. 35mm. 121 min.
With The Piano, her third feature, Jane Campion became the only female director to win Cannes’ Palme d’Or. In the 19th century, a mute Scottish woman (Holly Hunter) is sent to New Zealand to marry a colonist (Sam Neill). Arriving with her young daughter (Anna Paquin) and a piano—essentially her surrogate voice—she develops an unexpected relationship with another stranger (Harvey Keitel). Brutal power play collides with sexual awakening in this captivating tale, accompanied by a spellbinding piano score by Michael Nyman. Hunter and the young Paquin received the Academy Awards for their powerful performances.