Starring: Elijah Wood, John Cusack, Kerry Biche, Alex Winter, Tamsin Egerton, Allen Leech, Don McManus
Directed by: Eugenio Mira
Synopsis: Moments before his comeback performance, a concert pianist who suffers from stage fright discovers a note written on his music sheet.
Recently I reviewed “The Call” with Halle Berry and stated that, despite a good first hour or so, the film was let down by it’s stupid ending. Well, I would just like to say that, in fact, The Call, is a masterpiece of modern cinema when held up against Grand Piano.
This film is all kinds of awful. It has a similar premise to The Call, Buried and Phone Booth in that there is a central character in peril, in real time, and they are trapped. In Buried, it’s Ryan Reynolds buried in a coffin. Phone Booth see’s Colin Farrell trapped in, well, a Phone Booth. In Grand Piano, Elijah Wood is trapped playing, well you get it by now.
Wood plays Tom Selznick, a world famous concert pianist (if there is such a thing). He has retired but comes back to play one last show. His stage fright is about to be exasperated by a note on his sheet music. The notes, rather helpfully, predict exactly what Tom is going to do next. Eventually they tell him to go back to his dressing room, mid performance, to put on a bluetooth head set. Now Tom can actually speak to the guy out to get him (John Cusack). The man keeps rabbiting in Selznicks ear, telling him his wife will die if he doesn’t do what he asks. All the while Tom is playing the most complex piano pieces known to man, whilst tapping away on a Blackberry next to him. Stupid? Yes, very.
Grand Piano is without doubt the most ludicrous, stupid, unbelievable movie I’ve seen in a long time. I mean, it’s embarrassing. How Wood and Cusack got caught up in it I have no idea. To be fair, Cusack only had to say a few lines over a phone and then show up with ten minutes left. Wood, however, is the sole focus of most of the film, and whilst his pretend piano playing is impressive, his rabbit in headlights shtick is wearing thin.
Please, do yourselves a favour and steer well clear of Grand Piano, unless you like thrillers with no thrill or suspense with no suspense. Oh, and yet more ludicrously dumb endings like in The Call.