8:00 PM, 18th September, 2003
The film portrays the life of pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman (Brody), a Polish Jew, who fights for survival during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw in World War Two.
We are introduced to Szpilman in 1939. He is a tall, handsome man who is loved for his piano performances on public radio. He lives with his cheerful family in a flat in the centre of the city. Bombings begin to torment the citizens of Warsaw, and, step by step, the Nazis infiltrate. The Jews are branded and set apart from their neighbours, imprisoned in a ghetto, and slowly exterminated.
If there is only one Holocaust film you see in your life, make sure this is it. The Pianist is a movie of riveting power and sadness that will break your heart many times over. It will make you feel the cold and deprivation Szpilman feels, see the misery and cruelty he sees, and will make you grateful for freedom afterwards. Brody carries the performance, and even the most sceptical of Oscar sceptics will concede that the Best Actor award was truly deserved.
A must see: five stars and a box of tissues