Director: Euginio Mira
Starring: Elijah Wood, John Cusack, Kerry Bishe
OK, I’ll admit it—had Grand Piano not shown up in my Netflix queue under the “Horror” genre I probably would have skipped completely over it, having mistaken it for a chick flick. However, I saw the title while scrolling for some Friday night entertainment and something clicked.
I had heard of this movie from someone, some place.
For the life of me I can’t remember who told me about it or where I was, but I send my gratitude to whoever you are, because I liked this one.
Wood plays Tom Selznick, a famous concert pianist who, several years ago, fell to pieces on stage while attempting what’s arguably one of the most complicated piano solos ever written. He stays away from the music scene for many years until his wife and friends convince him to perform a comeback concert. He prepares to take the stage and finds himself battling the worst case of nerves and stage fright he’s ever felt. However, upon starting the concert he finds a note written on his sheet music that quickly makes him forget his nervousness. An unseen assassin has informed him that he must either play a flawless concert or he, and his beautiful wife will die. The motive for this comes to light later in the film and it’s ultimately responsible for the 90 minute roller coaster ride that is Grand Piano.
I liked this one for many reasons. Here are a few:
- I didn’t read the details on this one before I hit “play,” so all I knew was that Elijah Wood was in it, and given his performance in the Maniac remake (which was also A-maz-ing) I thought I’d give it a chance. That said, I had no idea John Cusack was in this until he shows up on screen, and I’m part of what I’ve come to realize is a rather small group of folks that actually love him so I was pleasantly surprised. Thank God for blissful ignorance.
- Alex Winter is also in this. That’s right, Bill S. Preston, Esquire.
- Keanu Reeves (aka, Ted “Theodore” Logan) is not in this.
- The music is great. As a former concert musician myself I enjoyed the premise a lot.
- The tension and suspense are fantastic. I actually made the comment that this one reminded me of early Hitchcock. I wouldn’t make that comparison lightly.
Grand Piano is extremely far out of my proverbial horror “wheel house,” as there’s very little gore and nobody is wearing a mask of any kind or wielding a machete or any other number of lawn implements, which in short means that for a film like this to impress me it must be something pretty special.
I think it is.