The Piano (1993) / Green Book
The moral of this story is LET WOMEN DIRECT ALL MOVIES.
It’s kind of hard to remember, but 1993 was a really, really great year for thoughtful storytelling in film. Schindler’s List, Short Cuts, The Remains of the Day, Six Degrees of Separation, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Philadelphia all came out that year, and all had gut-wrenching performances from established actors and rising stars. However, one film from New Zealand stood out from the crowd - it was female-led and female-directed. The Piano’s cast alone is enough to make it worth seeing, but it’s the directing choices of writer-director Jane Campion that transform a unique period piece into a transcendent romance told almost exclusively through the female gaze. You may come for the Oscar-winning performances, but by the end you won’t be able to deny that The Piano is a stunning work of art.
Then, after the break, we rightfully skewer the recent awards darling Green Book, which has notable performances from its leads, but is ultimately a film made by white baby boomers to make other white baby boomers feel OK that racism isn’t as bad as it used to be. Never mind the continued foot-in-mouth disease of the creators; this film is one of the most racist pieces of garbage to come out this year. Avoid it at all costs.
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Intro music taken from the Second Movement of Ludwig von Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Hong Kong (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 HK) license. To hear the full performance or get more information, visit the song page at the Internet Archive.