I have never heard of the movie “Grand Piano,” so when I pushed the rent movie button on the Redbox machine I knew I was taking a risk. As it turns out, this time the risk was worth it.
Spanish director Eugenio Mira exploits his Hitchcockian flair in the new DVD release “Grand Piano.” Our protagonist, Tom Selznick (Elijah Woods), is a celebrated master pianist in the Van Cliburn tradition who has had a blow out some five years ago, and has now been encouraged by his famous actress wife Emma (Kerry Bishe) to make a comeback. Selznick’s loss of confidence is the result of a botched performance in attempting to play his mentor’s composition “La Cinquete,” which is also ominously nicknamed “the unplayable,” but “La Cinquete” is not on the program for the big night and Selznick will not have to worry about that ─ or so he thinks.
The performance acts out in a Chicago symphony house that will sport the famous Bosendorfer piano that his mentor has used and Selznick is showing visible signs of anxiety. Everything appears to be going smooth as the concert starts until Selznick begins receiving notes on his music sheets which indicate in no uncertain terms: “Play one note wrong and you die.” Somehow Selznick’s tormentor has wired into his earpiece audible threats which are visibly confirmed by a red laser focused on his chest from a sniper’s rifle. The terrorist threat demands that Selznick must finish the concert by playing “La Cinquete” without making an error; otherwise his wife will be targeted for brain-splatter. The big question is “why?”
Elijah Wood does a good job portraying the anxiety riddled Selznick, and John Cusack, who only briefly makes a physical appearance, is the voice of doom. “Grand Piano” is a pretty good thriller, with a few (sniper) holes in it; but the movie will hold your attention. I recommend it.
My Rating: 3 of 5 Laser Tags.