Grand Piano came out about forty years too late. It's still a good film and all, but it shouldn't have been released at this late a date. The film follows the story of Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood), a pianist who's preparing for his comeback performance after completely embarrassing himself a number of years earlier. When opening up his music sheet, Tom discovers a series of notes. These notes being threats towards him. Now Tom must wear an earpiece during his performance and ensure that he does everything the man on the other side of the line tells him to do, or else his wife, Emma (Kerry Bishé) will be murdered.
If anything, Grand Piano is a modern day Hitchcock film. In a way, the film almost seems to pay homage to the many tense thrillers from Alfred Hitchcock, and there are many. It's got his typical style, his typical feel and his typical suspense. Grand Piano is a very thrilling movie, despite not offering a lot more than that. Actually, it offers nothing more than that. It's a film made to thrill and thrill it does. There's not a lot of depth or sophistication to it and that's fine by me as it succeeded in doing just what it wanted to. It's a fun film. It's a short film. It's a damn entertaining film.
Director Eugenio Mira handles the film in a mature manner, filming it in a deliberately stylised way. His direction isn't necessarily flawless, but it's effective. He's constantly taking a leap of faith, trying to do something great, even though his film ended up being seen by about thirteen people total. He doesn't quite meet his own needs, but his needs were too insanely high for what this film is and so the result is still something great.
Led by another great performance from Elijah Wood, Grand Piano gives off very little complaints. The film is short and simple, not lingering on for too long so that flaws arise. The dialogue can feel a little forced at times, but never at a constant rate. Believability is low, but tension is high, and that's all I really wanted from this film. Elijah Wood feels vulnerable in this role, adding an extra layer of tension. He's never grounded and therefore he's never safe, even though there's no reason as to why he should actually be afraid of this guy. Seriously, you see a note on your music sheets and you know this guy means business? Come on!
To sum up, Grand Piano sets its hopes too high and so the final product is far from perfect, but the journey there is short, simple, deliberately stylised and highly entertaining. Plus it's led by another great performance from Elijah Wood.
3 1/2 Stars