London Film Review: ‘Grand Piano’

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Originally posted on Variety:

Speed’ on a piano” is what Spanish genre stylist Eugenio Mira’s third feature “Grand Piano” has irresistibly been dubbed in festival circles — and true enough, this appealingly absurd thriller finds a prodigious pianist (Elijah Wood) quite literally playing for his life, as an unseen gunman threatens to pull the trigger at the first missed note. The execution, however, is akin to a less kinked-out Brian De Palma potboiler, with Mira’s swooping, playful technique as intricate as the protagonist’s arpeggios. “Piano” goes disappointingly off-key in its second half, once the assassin’s rather banal agenda is revealed, but not enough to quell word of mouth among irony-attuned midnight-movie buffs. Magnet Releasing has U.S. rights; the pic should make its sweetest music in ancillary.

The presence of the erstwhile Frodo Baggins — currently the go-to American star for European genre-crossover directors — may lead auds to expect something as virulently…

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