A pianist with stage fright endures a performance under the eyes of a mysterious sniper, who will shoot and kill him if a wrong note is played.
Genre: Drama, Music, Mystery, Thriller
Director: Eugenio Mira
Writer: Damien Chazelle
Actors: Elijah Wood, John Cusack, Kerry Bishé, Tamsin Egerton
Release Year: 2014
Scott Hardie: “It sucked.”
This is the best-looking, best-sounding terrible movie that I've seen in a long time. The piano playing is great, especially the dramatic solo at the film's climax. Director Eugenio Mira is a much better visual stylist than this material deserves, pulling off several daring long takes and bold camera moves that belong in a great film.
But this is not a great film. It struggles to pad its spartan plot with enough material (and extra-extra-long opening and closing credits) to inch over the 90-minute mark. Its characters talk like idiots from a bad sitcom instead of world-class highly-educated classical musicians. Maybe I missed it, but the hero gave no indication of having rehearsed his exceedingly difficult pieces; he behaves as if he can just get off a plane and walk out on stage after five years and play perfectly. And worst of all, the movie has a completely preposterous plot that keeps piling on more ridiculous contrivances and impossibilities, as if it figured "in for a penny, in for a pound" with its ludicrous main premise. All of the visual flourishes and beautiful music in the world couldn't improve this rotten script.