Polanski effectively turns his personal knowledge of the Holocaust into a spellbinding portrait of fellow Holocaust survivor Wladyslaw Szpilman, the renowned Polish-Jewish pianist of the title. Brody's dead-on portrayal of Szpilman, who as a gifted artist scarcely believes he will be affected by the war, effectively registers the horrifying transition from life of luxury to ending up in the Warsaw ghetto. An interesting feeling of hopefulness that lies beneath the barbarism shows Polanski's attention to the humanity and kindness that still may be found in the most savage conditions, and winningly captures the feel of one of recent history's darkest times. Based on the autobiography of Wladyslaw Szpilman.
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Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 148 minutes.
Originally from French, Polish, German, British.
Oscars 2002: Actor (Brody), Adapt. Screenplay, Director (Polanski); British Acad. 2002: Director (Polanski), Film; Cannes 2002: Film; Natl. Soc. Film Critics 2002: Actor (Brody), Director (Polanski), Film, Screenplay.
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