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Grand Piano

After the last at home blog movie, I found myself with the time and attention span to tackle another for a post-post. Feeling the mood for suspense, I picked something I'd just added to my ever expanding Netflix queue.

In Grand Piano, Elijah Wood plays Tom, a master concert pianist whose stage fright and public embarassment have forced him out of the spotlight. Encouraged by his movie star wife, he returns to the symphony after a five year hiatus, to play a piece on a piano that belonged to his recently deceased mentor. As the performance starts, he's threatened by a sniper in the audience who promises to kill him if he plays a single wrong note. Not only that, but the sniper wants him to play the infamous unplayable piece that had caused his downward spiral 5 years prior.

The plot is a combination of cheesy and inventive. Even after having seen it, I'm not sure if it's the dumbest idea ever or a really clever premise. Besides Wood as the lead, we also have John Cusack in a very Keifer Sutherland in Phone Booth type role as the sniper, communicating with Tom via earpiece. Cusack's controlled voice certainly upheld most of the suspense. He also got an assist on the ground from Alex "Bill S Preston esquire, as opposed to Ted Theodore Logan" Winters. That was kinda fun to realize it was him.

I guess, yeah, Phone Booth is a good comparison since it's a similar set up, where you've got someone confined to a small space at the mercy of a man on the phone with a gun. A little more of a downlow situation than the overt Times Square stopping scenes, but otherwise a lot in common. I think my opinions on both are equal too. Don't think about it too much and get caught up in the suspense and it's an acceptable way to pass 90 mins. Try to look at it realistically and that won't end happily for anyone.
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