Focus Features via Everett Collection
There are some days when all you need a movie to be is light and cheerful, but then there are others when all you want to do is wallow in sadness for a little while and have a good cry. For times like those, you need a film that will rip your heart out. Our Netflix Hand-Picked Flix recommendation for this week’s Bluesday Tuesday pick, The Pianist, will do just that, and then probably stomp on it a few times for good measure.
World War II and the Holocaust have been the subject of some of the most heartbreaking stories ever put on film, and The Pianist certainly deserves a place on that list. The movie tells the story of Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), a moderately successful Polish-Jewish pianist whose life is shattered when Nazi Germany invades Poland. Soon enough, German troops invade Warsaw, and Szpilman is forced to go into hiding.
Brody gives his Oscar-winning and career-defining performance incredible amounts of depth. The film packs an emotional wallop, as Szpilman’s hopes of a better future are continually dashed as he moves from safe house to safe house, desperately clinging to whatever semblance of freedom he has left. Director Roman Polanski imbues the film with the proper sense of tragedy and horror. The shot of Warsaw crumbling to dust will stay with you for months after viewing.
You can stream The Pianist on Netflix, and make sure to check back tomorrow for our recommendations for the perfect Docu-Wednesday film.