Film #278: GRAND PIANO
2 out of 5 stars
After many reviewers said so many nice things about this film, I sat down to watch it expecting great things. Sadly, GRAND PIANO fails on just about every level it attempts. From the overwhelmingly expositional dialog in the first act through the ridiculously contrived execution of, what should have been, a fragile, but still interesting premise, the film flounders by a) spending too much time on ancillary character who exist only to be killed, b) trying to turn what should have been a cerebral chess game into a physical “cat-n-mouse game,” and c) the use of character who are obviously involved (the second you see BILL & TED’s, Alex Winter, you KNOW he’s up to something. And then there’s the acting… I swear that it must’ve been a mandate from the studio or from the director, but EVERY SINGLE actor in this fiasco overacts… and does so to the point of the audience collectively putting its face into its hands. Heck, even John Cusack is chewing more scenery than his diet normally allows. In the end, GRAND PIANO is another example of how a solid – albeit rickety - premise can be ruined and undone by a director who simply chooses the wrong aspect of the story to focus on. Pity, too… this could’ve – and should’ve – been better.