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Grand Piano: A Fun Thriller That Needs a Larger Audience

June 26, 2014

grand piano movie poster

Grand Piano tells the age-old story of a man playing piano while another man is pointing a gun at his head. This thriller is a fun experiment that is executed to perfection. It is an original idea that uses its locations well and never looks back. It is fun cinema that gets why people watch movies (to be entertained!).  Telling a story about a concert pianist being threatened by a ornery voice is a massive risk. That is why I like Grand Piano.

grand piano elijah wood

Grand Piano does a lot with a tiny budget and manages to look better than the average thriller. The camera sneaks through the corridors of the concert venue like a snake and becomes a character all its own. The long takes show us that Elijah Wood has studied the piano and his playing blends seamlessly into the soundtrack. The usage of crane shots and split screens feel organic to the proceedings and not shoehorned in. You feel like everyone was on the same page and that is why it is so fun. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly Wood discussed the ease of process.

The difficulty of the structure was largely in Eugenio’s hands, and by the time we started shooting all of that had been predetermined. So, the music, the time code that we were adhering to with the music as it related to the imagery, all of that was done in an animatic form. By the time we were shooting there was a sort of ease of process. It was technical and we had all these elements working together in tandem but it had a very clear structure. But the piano-playing was extremely complicated and stressful.

Grand Piano is a singular story that looks great and wears its preposterous narrative on its sleeve (something about a key). The heist is improbable yet you don’t care because the film is told so assuredly. Don’t think. Enjoy. Be excited that Alex Winter from Bill & Ted is in the film. Be excited that John Cusack seems to be trying again. Be happy that people are telling stories like this. Grand Piano doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it certainly makes the wheel look great.

Watch Grand Piano. Enjoy the insanity. Hope that John Cusack does Grosse Pointe Blank 2.



5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2014 9:07 am

    I had no idea what this was or that it was a thriller, but you sold me on what to watch this weekend. Elijah Wood has proving that he is much more then a Hobbit with roles in this,Maniac and Wilfred

    • johnleavengood permalink
      June 26, 2014 8:04 pm

      Yeah. I was shocked, too. “Grand Piano”…the title is hardly indicative of a thrill-ride. Hahaha

  2. June 26, 2014 11:57 am

    It was very dumb, but it knew that and decided to roll with the punches anyway. Hence why it was a good time. Good review.


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