I feel pretty confident that Grand Piano was my favorite film at Fantastic Fest 2013. It's certainly the most fun I had in a theater (unless we're counting the Fantastic Fest Awards, which are always somewhat raucuous). You'll hear a lot of people saying that Eugenio Mira's thriller reminds them of a Brian De Palma movie, but it actually strikes me more as a Hitchcock film. I know that feels like tomato-tomahto nitpicking, but there's a classicism to Grand Piano that suits the subject matter, an elegance to the tawdriness.
Well, as of today you can decide for yourself. The film is now available on VOD and iTunes, and it will play in select theaters March 7. If you can see it on the big screen, I urge you to wait - there are so many beautifully crafted shots in this movie, and there's a breathless energy and tension to the film that make it especially fun to see with a crowd. Elijah Wood is a wonder - all posture and urgency - as Tom Selznick, perhaps the most brilliant pianist alive who is returning for a much-lauded recital a few years after a public meltdown. He's playing the extraordinary instrument once owned by his late mentor, and a sniper in the audience (John Cusack) wants him to play the "unplayable piece" that tripped him up at his last recital - and to play it perfectly, or Tom and his wife (a warm Kerry Bishé) will die.
Fun, right? Grand Piano is riveting and strange and surprising, a film that left me grinning for hours. A movie that had the audience cheering by the end - one that Fantastic Festers were eager to discuss days later.
So see it! Watch the trailer below if you need further convincing, and I'll try to not get my feelings hurt that my words alone didn't do the trick: