With The Piano Teacher, Haneke won Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes 2001, while Isabelle Huppert and Benoit Magimel took home the Best Actress and Best Actor awards respectively. This site requires JavaScript to function properly.Please enable JavaScript in your web browser. Sometimes it's easier to talk through your decision to purchase home theater seating and accessories with a real person. Isabelle Huppert's amazing performance anchors an old-style Euro-art flick that knows its Freud, its classical music and -- oh, yeah -- its seamy sex.
But I was interested in another way, because this is a smart movie that knows its classical music, knows its Freud and knows its Sade. Synopsis Of The Piano Teacher : Erika Kohut, a sexually repressed piano teacher living with her domineering mother, meets a young man who starts romantically pursuing her. Based on the 1983 novel by Elfriede Jelinek, Huppert plays Erika Kohut, an apparently straight-laced, strict and harsh piano teacher at the Vienna Conservatory, who lives with her tyrannical and domineering mother. Behind the ascetic facade however, Erika indulges a fascination for pornography, voyeurism and sadomasochism, and when a promising young student attempts to seduce her, her desires set off an explosive and shocking series of events.

Haneke ditches any attempts to explain Erika’s nature, instead he simply carves out her grim reality, making this film intelligent and thought-provoking examination of female repression.
Professor Erika Kohut (Isabelle Huppert) gives piano lessons at a Vienna conservatory (yes, the movie takes place in Austria, and director Michael Haneke is German-born, but its focus on sex and intellectual rigor is French all the way). Let’s just say that with her dominance subverted, Kohut becomes more and more desperate, and every time she gets more desperate she makes a slip that drags her down even further.
Kohut even tells her would-be lover about this moment, and as the film goes on we wonder if she’s trying to engineer her life so that she can experience whatever lies just this side of insanity. Haneke, adapting a novel by Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek, puts her in a shabby apartment with her ridiculously domineering mother (Annie Girardot). Her mother treats her like an untrustworthy teenager even though she’s coming up soft on 40. Huppert is so good that we can read everything she’s thinking, even watch her change her mind, without seeing her move a muscle.
She’s playing the kind of character that seems overwritten to the point of silliness, yet we never doubt her for a second.

There we find out that she’s the kind of person who gets off on the smell of the video booths as much as the pornography.
She hides all this from her mother, of course, but we still have some sense that she wants to get caught — that she wants others to know how debauched she is. We get a chance to find out for ourselves when Kohut ends up with a studly and much younger student (the grinning, saucy Benoît Magimel). In one of the weirdest, most uncomfortable sex scenes ever, he makes a move on her in a bathroom at the conservatory.

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