One of the ultimate character studies, and a disquieting immersion in a really disturbed and repressed psyche. Haneke manages to create enormous empathy for an unlikable character without resorting to any melodramatic device, while Isabelle Huppert gives the performance of a lifetime; what she does in this movie is just beyond acting, you can't help but feel sad for her.
Great at being disturbing – yet touching – Haneke's 'La pianiste' deserves every praise it received. The narrative is a bit fragmented, but gives an even stronger sense of alienation to the life of the main character. The topics of pent-up sexuality, violence and psichological instability are excellently conveyed through cause-effect mechanism (their actions) that baffle both the viewers and the characters.
First time in a long, long while that a film succeeds in touching me so sharply. My first Haneke, this is a tale where love and pain fight against each other, and it's – maybe unsurprisingly – a strenuous, contradictory, crude and extremely violent fight for body and mind alike. But The Piano Teacher may also fundamentally be a story about the politics (+policing) of womanhood, social restraints and female self-hate.
This is one harshly sexual film and Isabelle Huppert gives an intense performance that proves she is one of the greatest actors of all time. Huppert can express more with a blank stare then most can with a ten minute monologue. Haneke crafts a meticulous film that focuses on the repression and lack of human compassion that the films characters have for each other. This is feel bad cinema at its finest.
Edgy to the point where you would start doubting the psychological credibility of it all if it weren't done as brilliantly as it is. I found myself troubled and confused, not sure who to judge anymore, all the while being fed new extremities. I'm impressed Haneke turned this into something deeply interesting, as the subject is easily taken advantage of for cheap entertainment. Also: Huppert was absolutely perfect.
A masterpiece. One of the greatest films of world cinema. And further confirmation that Isabelle Huppert is the greatest actor in all of cinema. I used to hate Haneke because I hated his American Funny Games and that was the first thing I saw by him. I'd avoid his work like the plague but now I want to watch everything by him. The Piano Teacher is one of the most heartbreaking films I've ever seen.
Revisiting this I am more certain than ever that Huppert gives here what is a strong contender for greatest performance in the history of cinema. Žižek is also right about this being the ultimate film about how unpleasant the results tend to be when we attempt to make our most sordid desires become a reality. After the formal radicalism of 71 FRAGMENTS and CODE INCONNU, Haneke makes a relative classicism pay off.
Exercises in control: assertion, fulfilment, denial, regret, assertion... Rigorous in its harsh logic, this severe exploration of power play offers little narrative explanation - although a familial source is suggested - just the ruthless pursuance of desire masking any love (much more convincing than The Night Porter). Quite thrilling. It's a difficult tragic film with Huppert a superb conduit for Haneke.