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  1. The trailer for the film.

  2. An excerpt from the film.

  3. The credits from this film.


Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter) has been mute since she was six. She travels from Scotland with her daughter (Anna Paquin) and her grand piano to colonial New Zealand for an arranged marriage. When her husband, a stoic settler (Sam Neill) sells the piano to Baines (Harvey Keitel), Ada and Baines come to a secret agreement. She can win her piano back key by key by playing for him, as he acts out his desire for her. Jane Campion's Oscar-winning tale of sexual emancipation in the mud and bush is the only NZ film to have won the Palme d'Or at Cannes.


A Perspective by Catherine Bisley 01.03.2009

They are instantly recognisable images: a grand piano sitting on a wild New Zealand beach; a pale-skinned and windswept mother and daughter in black bonnets; a piano tumbling off a waka and descending into the Pacific, its owner tethered to it. ...

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Comments (3)

 Adam Pierce

Adam Pierce

This is one of the BEST FILMS I have seen so far!! Trust me, I don't even watch Drama's but.... This is such a good example of how someones imagination can run wild!


 Desiree Sunley

Desiree Sunley

I love this movie - I even have the soundtrack which I listen to regularly to bring back the memory of the film.

 Kate Stone

Kate Stone | website

This film is also on the australianscreen website. It's interesting to compare how the two websites represent it.

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Collections.   See all collections ›  

Included in:

 Before They Were Famous
 Top 10 NZ Feature Films


With its breathtaking visual style and careful attention to sound and movement, the movie provokes contemplation about the ways people communicate – through words, through music, through sex, and, most significantly, through touch. 
Great art is both immediately accessible and eternally elusive, having at its centre a powerful simplicity that speaks to anyone who cares to listen, that rewards every interpretation while embracing none. The Piano is great art. 
(Campion) takes the breath away not by conventionally spectacular effects, but by the simple audacity of her choices about where to put the camera and what to show. 


1994 Academy Awards
Original Screenplay (Jane Campion)
Best Leading Actress (Holly Hunter)
Best Supporting Actress (Anna Paquin)
Nominated for Best Picture, Director, Cinematography, Editing, & Costume Design

1994 Bafta Awards
Best Actress (Holly Hunter)
Production Design (Andrew McAlpine)
Costume Design (Janet Patterson)
Nominated for Best Film, Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Score, & Sound

1994 Golden Globes
Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama (Holly Hunter)
Nominated for Best Drama, Director, Screenplay, Supporting Actress (Anna Paquin) and Original Score

1993 Cannes Film Festival
Co-winner of grand prize the Palme d’Or  - the first female winner since the festival began in 1946 (shared with Chinese feature Farewell My Concubine)
Best Actress (Holly Hunter)

1993 Australian Film Institute Awards
Best Film
Director (Jane Campion)
Original Screenplay (Jane Campion)
Lead Actress (Holly Hunter)
Lead Actor (Harvey Keitel)
Cinematography (Stuart Dryburgh)
Editing (Veronika Jenet)
Production Design (Andrew McAlpine)
Costume Design (Janet Patterson)
Original Score (Michael Nyman)
Sound (Lee Smith, Tony Johnson, Gethin Creagh, Peter Townend, Annabelle Sheehan)
Nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Sam Neill) and Supporting Actress (Kerry Walker)

1994 Writers Guild of America
Best Original Screenplay (Jane Campion)

1994 Independent Spirit Awards (United States)
Best Foreign Film

1994 Cesar Awards (France)
Best Foreign Film

1994 Producers Guild of America Awards
Most Promising Motion Picture Producer (Jan Chapman)

1994 National Society of Film Critics Awards (United States)
Best Screenplay (Jane Campion)
Best Actress (Holly Hunter)

1994 London Critics Circle Film Awards
Film of the Year
Actress of the Year (Holly Hunter)

1994 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards
Best Director, Screenplay, Actor (Holly Hunter) Supporting Actress (Anna Paquin) & Cinematography

1994 New York Film Critics Circle Awards
Best Director, Screenplay, and Actress (Holly Hunter)

1994 Directors Guild of America
Nominated for Outstanding Motion Picture Director

1994 American Cinema Editors
Nominated for Best Editing

1994 American Society of Cinematographers
Nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

1993 British Society of Cinematographers
Nominated for Best Cinematography

1993 National Board of Review (United States)
Best Actress (Holly Hunter)