While Elijah Wood will likely always be most notably now known for his role in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series, lately he has been taking on some much more interesting and darker roles. His latest, Grand Piano looks to continue that trend and features a good supporting cast including John Cusack and Alex Winter, but does it deliver the performance you hope for or will the curtain come down before the song is finished?
Grand Piano follows a famed pianist who suffers from stage fright taking the stage for his comeback performance, but when he discovers a note on his music sheet he realizes that he has something more to fear than the stage as he is forced to play under the control of a mysterious sniper. As the film begins it feels a bit slow and uninspired, but once Wood takes the stage the intensity begins taking it to another level. While it never fully gives you the feeling of urgency it hopes for, it still manages to deliver a great film. Most of the movie is structured pretty much by the numbers for any thriller, but the setting and Woods performance help to make it feel fresh. Cusack does a fine job with his role which is 90% just his voice which would have been so much cooler of a reveal had you not been able to figure out who it was, but with his distinct voice it was pretty obvious from the beginning. Alex Winter of ‘Bill and Ted’ fame shows up for a bit with a pretty major role to play and does a great job as well. There are a few slow bits here and there, but for the most part this film does exactly what it sets out to do and takes an often played out idea and puts a new twist on it.
The ending to the film is pretty cliché, but works well enough to no ruin anything else that came before it. The pacing is a bit slow at times but as a whole this film comes together well. Hopefully Elijah Wood will continue taking on these kinds of roles as he is really great at them. This will likely be an acquired tasted, but if you are willing give ‘Grand Piano’ a try.