The Pianist

Drama | German, English with English subtitles | 150 minutes

Info

On September 1, 1939, Germany invades Poland. Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish-Jewish pianist loses his job playing at the local radio station. Under Nazi rule, Jews are prevented from working or owning businesses. In November 1940, Szpilman and his family are forced from their home into the overcrowded Warsaw Ghetto. Szpilman manages to escape and goes into hiding with help from a non-Jewish friend, Andrzej Bogucki and his wife Janina. In his last hiding place, Szpilman is aided by Captain Wilm Hosenfeld, a compassionate German officer. Poland is liberated by the Red Army. Szpilman returns to his job at the Polish radio station and plays Chopin’s “Grand Polonaise brillante” to an appreciative listening audience.

Cast
Adrien Brody (Władysław Szpilman) / Ronan Vibert (Andrzej Bogucki) / Ruth Platt (Janina Bogucki) / Thomas Kretschmann (Captain Wilm Hosenfeld)
Why Stream This Film?

 “Director Roman Polanski, who was a Jewish child in Krakow when the Germans arrived in September 1939, presents Szpilman’s story with bleak, acid humor and with a ruthless objectivity that encompasses both cynicism and compassion.” – A.O.Scott, The New York Times

 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 95%
  • Metacritic Score: 85
Accolades
  • Academy Awards: Winner, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Adrien Brody); Best Director (Roman Polanski)
  • BAFTA Awards: Winner, Best Film; Best Director (Roman Polanski)
  • César Awards: Winner, Best Film; Best Actor (Adrien Brody); Best Director (Roman Polanski)
  • National Society of Film Critics Awards: Winner, Best Film; Best Actor (Adrien Brody); Best Director (Roman Polanski); Best Screenplay (Ronald Harwood)
  • National Board of Review: Listed, Top Ten Films of the Year
Polanski, himself a survivor of Nazi-occupied Poland, has created a near-masterpiece.
Desson Howe

The Washington Post

Perhaps because of his own experiences, director Polanski approaches this material with a calm, fierce authority. This is certainly the best work Polanski has done in many years.
A.O. Scott

The New York Times

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