WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Piano, The

Reviewed In Issue 10 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin, Kerry Walker, Genevieve Lemon.

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 4
Sound Rating: 5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Live Entertainment
(Catalog Number): LD69974WS
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $39.95
(Running Time In Minutes): 121
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1993
(LD Release Date): 06/01/94
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Jane Campion
(Screenplay/Written By): Jane Campion
(Story): NA
(Music): Michael Nyman
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Andrew McAlpine
(Visual Effects): NA
(Costume Designer): Janet Patterson
(Editor): Veronika Jenet
(Supervising Sound Editors): NA
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Alain Depardieu
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Jan Chapman

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Dolby Stereo A
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Exhilarating and startlingly original, this is an emotional story about a mute woman’s, named Ada (Hunter in her Academy Award®-winning role), arranged marriage to a hard working New Zealand settler (Neill). When she and her young daughter (Paquin) arrive on the pristine island, Ada is confronted and consumed with the strict and proper duties of a new wife are unsettling. She finds solitude in her love for her piano and when her husband’s intense neighbor (Keitel) vies for piano lessons she’s destined to oblige, leading to a very emotional, passionate, and seductive affair.

LaserDisc Picture:
The picture is perfectly framed at 1.85:1. It however suffers from inconsistent fleshtones and excessive contrast, poor shadow detail and apparent grain in some scenes. The natural look is punctuated with vivid color accents and deep blacks for a spellbinding presentation. The transfer is pristine with no distracting artifacts.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
Sound Designer Lee Smith has fashioned a soundtrack that evokes a distant world and culture. The sound is dynamic, thunderous, and delicate with a subtle, but effective surround and deep bass extension. Dialogue is natural as is the presence of the environs it is spoken in. Holly Hunter’s solo piano and Michael Nyman’s score are to behold.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: