I hadn’t heard of Elijah Wood’s next thriller (following this year’s underrated Maniac), Grand Piano, until today. I put on the trailer, without any idea of the plot, and I thought, “Wow“, to myself at least five or six times throughout the two-minute look at the film. I think that’s a compliment, but I’m not entirely sure.
In the end, this is probably going to be a low-rate, low-budget thriller that is forgotten a month after its release. The director, Eugenio Mira, has a few small releases to his name (Agnosía, The Birthday). The writer, Damien Chazelle, helped to write The Last Exorcism Part II, his most prominent credit. And the plot is a ridiculous-sounding mash-up of Speed (how is Keanu Reeves not in this?) and that terrible Shia LaBeouf (sorry to mention him) movie, Eagle Eye.
Tom Selznick (Wood), an acclaimed concert pianist who broke down in the past from stage fright, is about to conduct his comeback performance. The theater is packed, his wife in the audience. He sits down at the piano and finds a note in red, which boils down to “Play one wrong note and you die”. A sniper, voiced by John Cusack, has his sights on Selznick, and Selznick must get through the performance perfectly, or somehow find help without alerting Cusack. Crazy, right?
The trailer, thankfully, goes over rather knowingly. This is an absurd premise, but a solid one, and they know exactly what they’re selling. They play up the fitting theatricality of it all, and nobody really squirms uncomfortably as well as Elijah Wood. This looks like fun!
Grand Piano is in theatres on March 7, 2014.