Pianist Prevails

Polanski epic US film critics' favourite

by empire |
Published on

Not content at garnering the not unprestigious Palm D'Or gong at Cannes last year, Roman Polanski has nabbed another four impressive prizes for his intensely personal portrayal of the Holocaust, The Pianist. Inevitably affected by Polanski's own experience as a child during the Holocaust, his moving tale of a Polish-Jewish pianist's fight for survival in Nazi-occupied Poland has got the veritable thumbs up from those in the know, the National Society of Film Critics in the US. Hailed not only as the Best Picture of 2002 at their 37th annual awards, The Pianist. also earned Polanski the Best Director accolade while attracting awards for his star, Adrien Brody, and for the movie's screenplay. In an award shebang to up the already frenzied tension pre-Oscars, the yank film commentators got their opinions in early lauding Diane Lane as the best actress for her bed-hopping antics in Unfaithful, giving Christopher Walken the Best Supporting Actor gong for his performance in Catch Me If You Can and awarding Empire Online's personal favourite and Harry Potter 3 director Alfonso Cuaron's Y Tu Mama Tambien the Best Foreign Language Picture honour. So Polanski for Oscar gloy this year, then? Well, the predictions of this motley assembly have proved rather wrong in the past when it comes to the ultimate awards event in March. Known for their decidedly arthouse bent, the US critics chose David Lynch's Mulholland Drive as their best flick last year, Robert Altman as their best director for Gosford Park and, in their independent frame of mind, decided on Gene Hackman and Naomi Watts as their best actor and actress respectively. Not exactly spot on, then. But with the awards and nominations stacking up, Polanski shouldn't rule out that thank you speech quite yet.

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