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The Pianist

  • 2002
  • R
  • 150min
  • 95%
  • 8.5 / 10

Set during World War II, The Pianist follows Wladyslaw Szpilman, whose upbringing is far removed from those suffering from the war. Shrouded by his affluence, he has always basked in the comfort of his family’s fortune, so he dismisses the German threat to Poland as a passing threat. But reality hits him when a radio station where he's rehearsing is bombed. Later, he watches his family deported into concentration camps. He then finds his way into a labor camp, until he eventually fends for himself among the ruins of the city.

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movie facts

The Pianist has been placed on the BBC's list of the 100 greatest films of the 21st century. Its director Roman Polanski has ties to the Holocaust as well; both his parents were sent to concentration camps and his mother died in one. Adrien Brody lost over 30 pounds to prepare for his role as Szpilman. In addition, he also actually learned how to play the piano for the role. For his efforts, he became the youngest actor ever to win an Oscar Award for Best Actor at the age of 29, although he had no prepared speech. As he had told other nominees, he didn't expect to win. The real Wladyslaw Szpilman died when the movie was in pre-production. His grandson Daniel Szpilman has a small part in the movie as a young boy who lives in the Warsaw Ghetto.


about the movie

The Pianist is a biographical film directed by Roman Polanski and released in 2002. It's based on the autobiographical book of the same name written by Holocaust survivor, pianist, and composer Wladyslaw Szpilman. It stars Adrian Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Emilia Fox, and Michal Zebrowski. The movie was a critical success. It won several awards, including an Oscar for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor.