Forte and Piano: 16 Best Movies About Pianists

If there are more white keys on a piano than black ones – 52 versus 36, then it is not so easy to count the number of black and white bands in a musician’s life. What is behind the art of extracting divine sounds from an instrument? What are the favorites of the muse paying for? Movies about pianists will help you look behind the scenes of the life of people in black tailcoats and satin bow ties, where the most exciting events take place and beautiful music sounds.

The Invisible Life of Eurydice (2019)

The plot of the Cannes Film Festival award-winning melodrama takes place in Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s. Before us are two sisters – very different natures. Romantic seductive Guide dreams of true love and travel around the world . More restrained and calm, Eurydice is a promising pianist who dreams of making a career as a musician. The heroines of the Brazilian novelty of cinema are united by devoted love for each other and the desire to find freedom from a despotic father. But one day fate will separate the sisters for many years.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
A Vida Invisível

Genre:
Melodrama

Actors:
Julia Stockler, Carol Duarte, Flavia Guzman…

Country:
Brazil, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
18+


Piano (mini-series, 2019 – 2020)

The foreign series about a pianist and his girlfriend is a deeply personal project of Tim Minchin, who managed to combine the incarnations of a comedian, musician, actor and director. The road movie he shot received both audience love and a high rating. An old rusty pickup truck is driving along the highway in the middle of the Australian desert . A fiery red-haired girl is driving, a former musician on psychotropics is in the passenger seat. And in the back – an expensive vintage piano. Two misfits from different worlds, carrying a musical instrument to the other side of the country, are in for adventure and big changes.

Original title:
Upright

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Tim Minchin, Millie Alcock, Heather Mitchell…

Country:
Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.5

Age limit:
18+


Trade Places (2019)

In the center of the plot of the film are creative personalities Rafal and Olivia. He writes a novel and tries to bring it to perfection. She is a pianist who is afraid to play in public. They find each other and their lives are turned upside down. Olivia helps her beloved to become popular, forgetting about his dreams, and Rafal cannot appreciate her sacrifice. So years pass, but one day the hero wakes up in a world where he never met Olivia. And in this reality – he is a loser, and she is a star.

Original title:
Mon inconnue

Genre:
Comedy, melodrama, fantasy

Actors:
Francois Civil, Josephine Japi, Benjamin Laverne…

Country:
France, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Prelude (2019)

The list of the best films about pianists will continue with a German drama about the ambitious and vain David. The gifted student intends to become the best pianist in the course. This will allow the young man not only to satisfy his pride, but also to receive a grant to study in the United States. However, the path to the goal is thorny. Competitors, an authoritative and eccentric professor, the first love and ambition of the hero himself prevent him from getting what he wants.

Original title:
Prélude

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Louis Hofmann, Liv Lisa Fries, Johannes Nussbaum …

Country:
Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.8, IMDb – 5.8


Rocketman (2019)

The musical film, based on real events, was released in Russian distribution in a cut form due to the abundance of erotic scenes and the frequent use of drugs and alcohol on the screen. The plot is dedicated to the work of Elton John. The biographical musical shows the period of the musician’s life from the early 70s to the 80s – the path from a modest boy from a small town to the rise of a stage career and wild success. A path that had everything: drug addiction , lack of happiness, coldness of parents and awareness of one’s sexual orientation.

Original title:
Rocketman

Genre:
Biography, music, musical, drama

Actors:
Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden …

Country:
UK, USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
18+


Green Book (2018)

The Oscar-winning film introduces us to two unexpected travel companions. Tony, nicknamed Chatterbox, is a bouncer from a nightclub, a loud, uncouth Italian with very intolerant views on the black population. Don Shirley is a sophisticated, narcissistic gay black pianist in need of a brisk driver. Together, the two will go on a risky tour of states where segregation still exists. On this journey, everyone will become wiser and learn to look at the world with different eyes.

Original title:
Green Book

Genre:
Biography, comedy, drama

Actors:
Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.4 IMDb – 8.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Shoot the pianist (2018)

The crime comedy film about a blind musician playing the piano is one of the most exciting films in Indian box office in recent years. The plot introduces the viewer to the blind pianist Akash. A man is preparing for a concert, when he suddenly receives an offer to perform at the wedding of his fan’s father. Having agreed, the hero does not even suspect that he will become a witness to the crime. The musician is faced with a choice – to remain silent or to act, putting himself in danger.

Original title:
Andhadhun

Genre:
Thriller, melodrama, comedy, crime

Actors:
Ayushmann Khurana, Taboo, Radhika Apte…

Country:
India

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 8.2

Age limit:
16+


Few, many, blind (2015)

According to the plot of the film, a cute talented pianist moves into a new apartment. An important competition awaits her ahead, so daily rehearsals cannot be avoided. The musician’s neighbor turns out to be a closed inventor and he needs silence during a period of active mental activity. But the walls of the house are so thin that you can hear what the neighbors are whispering about, let alone playing the piano. A cold war breaks out between young people.

Original title:
Un peu, beaucoup, aveuglément!

Genre:
Melodrama, comedy

Actors:
Melanie Bernier, Clovis Cornillac, Lilou Fogli …

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.6


Vitus (2006)

The popular Swiss film tells the story of a virtuoso pianist – a child whose parents, in the pursuit of his future fame, forgot that he is just a 12-year-old boy who wants to play with friends and enjoy his childhood. Vitus, endowed with phenomenal abilities for his age, is lonely, and therefore cold and arrogant. Such behavior, of course, does not increase the chances of finding friends. The child prodigy decides to take life into his own hands, because more than anything he dreams not of music, but of a normal childhood and flying.

Original title:
Vitus

Genre:
Drama, Music

Actors:
Fabrizio Borsani, Theo Georgiou, Julika Jenkins…

Country:
Switzerland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.6

Age Limits :
12+


My heart stopped beating (2005)

The remake of the 1978 American film was Jacques Audiard’s directing breakthrough. 28-year-old Tom works with his racketeer father and is involved in the criminal business. One day, he meets the impresario of his dead pianist mother and begins to dream of becoming a musician. Thanks to his mother, he already played the piano and, with the support of a Chinese pianist, he will have to restore his forgotten skills. Now the meaning of his life is not gang warfare, but music. However, it is not so easy to tie up with a criminal past.

Original title:
De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté

Genre:
Drama, crime, music

Actors:
Romain Duris, Niels Arestrup, Jonathan Zakkai …

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Ray (2004)

Jazz lovers should definitely watch this film about a pianist – a biopic that has doubled its budget, about the great American jazz musician. Ray Charles went blind at an early age, but that didn’t stop him from falling in love with music. There was everything in the life of a talented performer and composer – ups and downs, success and calm, love and betrayal, drug addiction and the fight against it. The pianist released a huge number of albums, received significant awards and became the king of the stage, but he always remained an honest and sympathetic person – he did charity work and fought racism.

Original title:
Ray

Genre:
Drama, biography, music

Actors:
Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
12+


Pianist (2002)

This dramatic film is an honest story of Wladislav Szpilman, a famous Polish composer who ended up in the Warsaw Ghetto with his family, about that difficult time. The peaceful life of the pianist Wladek turned into a long nightmare when the Nazis came to Poland. A Jew by nationality, he experienced all the horrors of the occupation and the inhumanity of the invaders.

Original title:
The Pianist

Genre:
Drama, military, biography, music

Actors:
Adrien Brody, Emilia Fox, Daniel Caltagirone…

Country:
Poland, France, Great Britain, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.5, IMDb – 8.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Pianist (2001)

The film, which received the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, was based on the book by Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek. The main character Erika is a middle-aged woman, a professor at the Vienna Conservatory. In the classroom, she is arrogant and cold, but despite this, many gifted teenagers dream of getting into her course. However, the behind the scenes of a brilliant pianist is dramatic – life in the same apartment with an old despotic mother, passion for sadomasochism and deafening loneliness . One day , her student falls in love with the teacher , and the woman offers him a game, the rules of which shock the young man.

Original title:
La Pianiste

Genre:
Drama, music

Actors:
Isabelle Huppert, Annie Girardot, Benoit Magimel…

Country:
Austria, France, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Legend of the Pianist (1998)

A touching and atmospheric film introduces us to a legendary man – a pianist who did not exist according to the documents, but his fame thundered all over the world. Danny Budmann was born on an ocean liner and abandoned by careless parents. Without notes and without a teacher, the boy somehow learned to play the piano. His music is pure improvisation that leaves no passenger indifferent. And while stories about him are told all over the world, his world is a ship whose deck he never left.

Original title:
La leggenda del pianista sull’oceano

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, music

Actors:
Tim Roth, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Melanie Thierry …

Country:
Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Glitter (1996)

Geoffrey Rush won an Oscar for playing Australian pianist David Halfgott. The psyche of the famous musician finally broke down by the age of twenty. The pressure of a despotic father, concert programs that give the young virtuoso an overload, unpreparedness for defeat – all this led the young guy to schizophrenia . But despite the tragic story, David, true to music and dream, years later was rewarded with a return to the big stage and world fame.

Original title:
Shine

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, biography, music

Actors:
Geoffrey Rush, Noah Taylor, Armin Muller-Stahl …

Country:
Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Piano (1992)

The plot of the film takes the viewer to the XIX century. In the center of the story is Ada, who lost the ability to speak at the age of 6, after which music became her main instrument of self-expression. A woman has two values ​​in life – an old piano and a daughter. Together they travel from Scotland to New Zealand to see Ada’s future husband. However, the newly-made spouse refuses to bring a bulky object into the house, and the piano remains on the ocean. The heroine’s neighbor decides to take advantage of the opportunity by taking the instrument with him. He is ready to give Ada the opportunity to play, but for a fee.

Original title:
The Piano

Genre:
Drama, romance, music

Actors:
Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neil …

Country:
Australia, New Zealand, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
18+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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