The Piano Teacher (2001)

Dir. Michael Haneke
Starring: Isabelle Huppert, etc.

I’m sure Jill, Joel, Don, Marc would not like this. If I had to guess, I’d say Grace and Penny would have the best chance of liking this, but I’m really not sure. This is not a bad film, even though my score suggests it. My score reflects my inability to relate to this film, which I may be to blame more than the film. 1001 film selection that I’m ambivalent on.

Several critics really loved Huppert’s performance in this. It was good, but I prefer her role in Story of Women–although I really didn’t understand this film, being on a totally different wavelength of this film. A middle-aged piano teacher (Huppert) who lives with an overbearing mother, meets a handsome, talented student and begins a relationship with him, which reveals her turbulent psychological frame of mind.

My reaction to the film boils down to my complete inability to relate to the main character. Is she a sado-masochist, crazy or both? Her relationship with her mother and, perhaps her dissatisfaction with her life seems tied into her psychological make-up, but I’m not sure how. I also feel like the film is definitely an exploration of power, but again, I felt too outside the characters to understand this.

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