PURE CINEMA; ONE CRITIC SAYS IT RESEMBLES 'SNAKE EYES' IN TONE
Eugenio Mira's Grand Piano had its world premiere a few days ago at Austin's Fantastic Fest, and several reviews coming out of that screening are mentioning Brian De Palma-- here are some samples:
Samuel Zimmerman, Fangoria
"It is not rare to find a director appropriating, or recalling, the stylistic flair of Alfred Hitchcock, Brian De Palma or Dario Argento. Just at Fantastic Fest alone, we’ve encountered director Mark Hartley employing a great deal of split diopter throughout his remake of 1978’s Patrick. What is rare, however, is to find such influence utilized in clever, thematically appropriate and more breathtaking than endearing manner. As you may expect, this is leading to the arrival of such a film: Eugenio Mira’s Grand Piano, an utter joy of high concept, artfully composed and absolutely thrilling pure cinema."
Chris Tilly, IGN
"Brian De Palma has spent much of his career imitating Alfred Hitchcock, oftentimes to great effect and success. And now Spanish helmer Eugenio Mira has made a movie that pays homage to both men, crafting a musical thriller that could just as easily have been called The Man Who Played Too Much."
Jette Kernion, Slackerwood
"'Like Phone Booth, but with a piano.' 'It's what you'd get if Brian De Palma decided to rework Unfaithfully Yours.'
"Glib descriptions of Grand Piano like the ones above (overheard at Fantastic Fest) don't do the film justice, not at all. I'm not even certain they give you an accurate idea of what you're about to see. On the other hand, a plot summarization of the thriller makes it sound ridiculous ... and thanks to filmmakers and stars, it is instead breathtakingly suspenseful."
Marjorie Baumgarden, Austin Chronicle
"Grand Piano is a high-concept suspenser that owes obvious debts to such masters as Alfred Hitchcock, Brian DePalma, and Dario Argento. Yet it’s infused with originality and so expertly executed that viewers will be stimulated by the comparisons and thrilled by the film’s confident presentation."
Todd Gilchrist, The Playlist
"A welcome reminder that high-concept thrillers needn’t rely on stupid coincidences and even stupider characters in order to succeed, Grand Piano turns the unlikeliest of scenarios into a riveting battle of wills. The story of a concert pianist whose comeback performance gets hijacked by a sniper with a secret agenda, director Eugenio Mira’s latest film breathlessly combines artistic anxiety and personal desperation, providing its character with a journey as intense emotionally as it is physically. In fact, probably the best Brian De Palma movie he never made, Grand Piano expands the boundaries of single-location, real-time mysteries like Phone Booth and Panic Room with a brilliantly simple concept and nimble, elegant style...
"Serving as more than a welcome contrast to the handheld, improvisational camerawork of too many other movies these days, Mira’s direction is a marvel of fluidity and poetry. The careful composition of each shot enhances the film’s melodramatic sweep without distracting from the story and performances; whether simply taking inspiration or outright stealing pages from (classic) De Palma’s playbook, Mira distinguishes his film with a classical, muscular visual style that suits its high-society backdrop, and mirrors Selznick’s mental scramble to focus on his performance and his potential murder at the same time."
Jeremy Kirk, First Showing
"While the story in Grand Piano, courtesy of Damien Chazelle, is simple and the locations are scarce, Mira moves the camera around the hall, down the corridors, and over and above the stage, giving us interesting angles of everything at play here. His usage of split screens and deep focus makes Grand Piano a nice homage to the films of Brian De Palma, though its intentions may have been more aimed at Hitchcock. DePalma is just fine, though, as Snake Eyes - the film Grand Piano most resembles in terms of tone - is an underappreciated thriller."