Grand Piano – Review

 

A combination of both “concept-thriller” and “bottle-thriller” (ie. takes place in a single location), Grand Piano sees Elijah Wood as concert pianist Tom Selznick; whose grand concert performance is hijacked by a would-be sniper threatening to execute both Tom and his wife should Tom fail to complete his performance flawlessly. Sort of Phone Booth with a piano, really.

 

Allegedly learning to play piano specifically for the role, Wood’s performance is exemplary; his balance of technical proficiency working in brilliant tandem with the verbal back-and-forth at hand. Sadly however, Wood is the film’s only real saving grace; with a ridiculously contrived plot, a bland villainous performance from John Cusack (whose casting would have been a great twist had the filmmakers learnt from Phone Booth and simply kept his name off the credits), obvious telegraphing of the story’s biggest beats, and a conclusion nicked wholesale from the National Treasure movies of all things.

 

As far as Wood goes, it’s a strong performance with which to follow up last year’s superb remake of Maniac, and Eugenio Mira makes a very fine directorial effort. However, Grand Piano misses notes with alarming frequency; Tamsin Egerton and Allen Leech for example are woefully miscast, whilst a third act vocal performance is near baffling to behold. For fans of Elijah Wood, it’s a must-see; but as thrillers go, it’s less intelligently crafted than the average SyFy channel effort.

 

 

Catch Van Connor’s reviews in our Movies section and live on Slam Dunk Cinema every Saturday at 12PM on Sheffield Live! 93.2FM or on the podcast via iTunes.

 

In it
Elijah Wood, Kerry Bishé, Alex Winter

Behind it
Eugenio Mira




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