The Piano

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The Piano is a 1993 drama film about a mute pianist and her daughter, set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier backwater on the west coast of New Zealand. The film was written and directed by Jane Campion, and stars Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, and Anna Paquin. It features a score for the piano by Michael Nyman which became a bestselling soundtrack album. Hunter played her own piano pieces for the film, and also served as sign language teacher for Paquin, earning three screen credits. The film was an international co-production by Australian producer Jan Chapman with the French company Ciby 2000. The Piano was a commercial and critical success, grossing more than $40 million, against its $7 million budget. Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin received high praise for their roles as Ada McGrath and Flora McGrath. At the 66th Academy Awards, The Piano won three awards: Best Actress for Hunter, Best Supporting Actress for Paquin, and Best Original Screenplay. Paquin, who at the time was 11 years old, became the second youngest ever Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner, after Tatum O'Neal, who won the award in 1974 for Paper Moon, at 10.

Accolades

Academy Awards:

  • Best Actress in a Leading Role (Holly Hunter)
  • Best Original Screenplay (Jane Campion)
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Anna Paquin)

Cannes Film Festival

  • Golden Palm
  • Best Actress (Holly Hunter)

César Awards

  • Best Foreign Film

Australian Film Institute:

  • Best Actor (Harvey Keitel)
  • Best Actress (Holly Hunter)
  • Best Cinematography (Stuart Dryburgh)
  • Best Costume Design (Janet Patterson)
  • Best Director (Jane Campion)
  • Best Editing (Veronika Jenet)
  • Best Film
  • Best Original Music Score (Michael Nyman)
  • Best Production Design
  • Best Screenplay — Original (Jane Campion)
  • Best Sound

BAFTA Awards:

  • Best Actress (Holly Hunter)
  • Best Costume Design (Janet Patterson)
  • Best Production Design (Andrew McAlpine)

Boston Film Critics:

  • Best Actress (Holly Hunter)

Chicago Film Critics:

  • Best Actress (Holly Hunter)
  • Best Score (Michael Nyman)

Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics:

  • Best Actress (Holly Hunter)

Golden Globe Awards:

  • Best Actress — Drama (Holly Hunter)

Independent Spirit Awards:

  • Best Foreign Film, Australia/New Zealand

London Film Critics:

  • Actress of the Year (Holly Hunter)
  • Film of the Year

Los Angeles Film Critics:

  • Best Actress (Holly Hunter)
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Director (Jane Campion)
  • Best Screenplay (Jane Campion)
  • Best Supporting Actress (Anna Paquin)

National Board of Review:

  • Best Actress (Holly Hunter)

National Society of Film Critics:

  • Best Actress (Holly Hunter)
  • Best Screenplay (Jane Campion)

New York Film Critics:

  • Best Actress (Holly Hunter)
  • Best Director (Jane Campion)
  • Best Screenplay (Jane Campion)

Southeastern Film Critics:

  • Best Actress (Holly Hunter)
  • Best Director (Jane Campion)
  • Best Picture

Writers Guild of America (WGA):

  • Best Screenplay — Original (Jane Campion)
Poster: