The Pianist (2002) - dir. Roman Polanski

The only problems I have with this otherwise perfect film are - and pay attention I’ll only say this once - the first thirty-five minutes and the fact that no one needed this film to be made (well… no one not named Roman Polanski). The story is an incredible one, and the final scene is one of the finest showcases of cinematic drama in the history of the art form. But it does take just a little too long to get going and who - in 2002 - was looking at the film industry and thought… hey, let’s make another Holocaust film?

The Pianist will always, however unfairly, be compared to Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. While Brody outshines the likes of Neeson or Fiennes there is nothing in here that is as jarring as Spielberg’s portrayal. Polanski’s auteurism seeps out of the film’s every pore, but even still the film isn’t one you’d want to delve back into time and time again. Still, the Pianist is a modern classic and deserves your attention, if only once.

8.3