A movie about the choice that every person must make in life when one has a broken soul: to either survive with it or go to the bottom of unending despair. Any movie that gave us the presence of Anna Paquin (and what a natural talent she is) is to be cherished as she almost steals the entire show from the just as good adults. Had deserved the Academy Award too. It is such a mesmerising film.
A lovely little gem about a stubborn mute obsessed with her piano that somehow gets caught up between two men. The music in this film is sublime, as is little Anna Paquin who ruins everything. There’s always a special connection with characters that are trapped within their own heads and here we get to know Holly Hunter’s character better than most.
Intense and stylish, this plays as an earthy revenge drama syncronised with fecundity, touch, sound and sensation, perhaps to compensate for Ada's muteness. It's stunning to the eye and ear, although not especially profound. Nevertheless it lingers on as a series of strong images set to to that (after a time) infernal tune. It remains Campion's most fully formed piece to date and is still her mainstream calling card.
an intense study of character and womanhood. holly hunter's wordless acting is striking, if anna paquin's is a bit cartoonish. the way that this film avoids putting its male characters into stereotypes (particularly in the husband) brings a drawing complexity to the entire story as well as hunter's own character. fantastic.
the moment Ada enters New Zealand her tempestuous disposition is often reflected in the mire that is the landscape and weather. we regularly see shots of her wading through muck. Alisdair and George in stark contrast as one who is wholly incongruous with their surroundings and one who has adapted. visual representations of abandonment, constraint, loneliness.
3-4. I'm torn; it's such a gorgeous film with a really excellent central metaphor that allows the film to tap into the power of "Show, Don't Tell." But it's slow to get going, Baines' characterization rests so much on Harvey Keitel's performance, and it doesn't evoke meaning beyond the characters' circumstances. Still worth watching and unusually tender in its depiction of such visceral subject matter.
Holly Hunter's acting and piano playing had a depth and intensity for me not matched by the shallow anachronistic score, not matched by the directing that tried to be art with a capital A rather than making formal meaning, and not matched by the other actors. Dreadful, pretentious pap. Give me Breillat's Bluebeard. Holly Hunter's dark fairy tale wildness would be right at home in it.