Grand Piano (2013)

I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, but I have seen that the general reviews were negative. I'm not sure why, though. I thought that this movie, while a bit sterile in its treatment of what is essentially a hostage situation combined with a solo at a concert, was certainly interesting enough to watch and be entertained by.

The movie is about Elijah Wood who plays the man referred to as the greatest piano player in a generation. He is essentially playing a comeback concert after dropping out of sight some time ago when he tried to play "the unplayable piece" and walked off stage in the middle of it. He has a very frail character, and it is clear that he doesn't deal with being in the spotlight particularly well. Elijah has been doing some independent, low-budget movies of late, and I think he did a good job with this one.

His character is married to Kerry Bishé, who plays an actress of particular note. Together they make the power couple that everyone is talking about, wants to be with, and wants to be. For some reason, she is also called on to sing in the middle of the show, and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. She does a good enough job singing the song, but I couldn't help but wonder how she managed to match the volume of the piano in the huge hall without having a microphone. She isn't called on to do a whole lot of acting, but she was okay.

The whole story gets deeper with the introduction of John Cusack. It's unclear what his motivations are for most of the movie, but his actions are unmistakable. He has a silenced rifle with a magnified red dot scope and a laser sight. The reason for the laser sight is to have some visual indication for Elijah for intimidation. John threatens to shoot Elijah's wife or Elijah himself if a single not is missed in the concert - including the "unplayable piece."

The movie does a pretty good job of keeping tension high while our hero tries to figure out some way to get out of the mess he's in. There is quite a bit of suspended disbelief that has to happen throughout the movie from the ability to type a message on a Blackberry behind a sheet of paper to Elijah beating John in hand to hand combat.

The most impressive thing is the way they faked Elijah's piano playing. He says that he had three weeks of intense training before the movie, but many of the shots where his face is not seen were someone else's hands. Still, it was a pretty impressive technical feat.

Directing was good
Acting was good
Story was okay
Editing was very good
Cinematography was very good

3.25/5

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