There are movies that come along and surprise you once in a
while. You expect one thing and then like a slap in the face you get something
completely different. This was the case, for me at least,  in regards to the Grand Piano. Before however
I go into my review I do have a confession, going into the press screening I
had no prior knowledge to what this movie was about! All I knew that I was
covering the latest Elijah Wood movie at last minute because the original
coverage guy was not able to make it. Walking in I assumed that we were going
to be feed the usual Oscar’s for everyone, thought provoking piece that
required a more sophisticated pallet. What I got instead was the Grand Piano.

The main strong point of this movie is its cast; staring
Elijah Wood, John Cusack, Kerry Bishe, Alex Winter and Don McManus they really
drive the movie and keep it afloat. Woods character, Tom Selznick, is the central
focus of the movie. He was hailed as the next great concert pianist who crashed
and burned trying to play an unplayable piece that only he or his mentor could
play. Attempting to make his comeback he plays his mentors Grand Piano
during a concert, set up by his wife Emma Selznick, played by Kerry Bishe. With
pressure mounting and words of wisdom from Don McManus, playing his friend and
lead conductor, Reisinger, he takes the stage. This is where the movie takes off and where
my curve ball was thrown.

As the concert begins he soon finds out that his life and
the life of his wife are  in danger since a sniper has them targeted for death if he
plays the wrong note or reveals the current peril that they are in. Played by John Cusack, Clem, keeps Woods
character on the edge of his seat and playing for his and his wife’s life
throughout the movie. Although Cusack’s character does not reveal himself or
his true intentions until the end of the movie, it is his performance that
drives the pace and action of the movie until the credits role. Rounded out by
strong performances by Alex Winter, Kerry Bishe and Don McManus, it helps compensate
for a mediocre story with limited range, considering it all takes place during
a piano concert.

Director Eugenio Mira also deserves credit for his work on
this film. Keeping a tone of suspense, powered by good acting and a wonderful
score, he took what would have been an otherwise less than perfect concept and
script made it a watchable movie. Even with its flaws in concept, story, and
delivery the Grand Piano in an Enjoyable movie that does deliver on the
suspense, and surprisingly enough the action. I would rate this movie a 7 out
of 10 and give at a solid recommendation, just as long as you don’t walk in
with any preconceived expectations. With its American release this Friday 6, 2014 it’s worth a trip to the movies.

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