No. 79: The Pianist
A Holocaust film of uncommon grace
2002, dir. Roman Polanski. The protagonist of this Roman Polanski Holocaust film is the sort of man rarely seen in these sorts of movies: Neither a fighter nor a hero, he is passively surviving, carried on by the kindness of strangers and a few strokes of luck. And he makes it through the war because he makes it through the war—no other, transcendental reason is provided. This is grim existential territory, but Polanski’s masterful touch—along with a few devastating performances of Chopin—infuse the film with uncommon grace.