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The Piano is a 1993 drama film about a mute pianist and her daughter, set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier backwater on the west coast of New Zealand. The film was written and directed by Jane Campion, and stars Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, and Anna Paquin. It features a score for the piano by Michael Nyman which became a bestselling soundtrack album. Hunter played her own piano pieces for the film, and also served as sign language teacher for Paquin, earning three screen credits. The film was an international co-production by Australian producer Jan Chapman with the French company Ciby 2000.
The Piano was a commercial and critical success, grossing more than $40 million, against its $7 million budget. Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin received high praise for their roles as Ada McGrath and Flora McGrath. At the 66th Academy Awards, The Piano won three awards: Best Actress for Hunter, Best Supporting Actress for Paquin, and Best Original Screenplay. Paquin, who at the time was 11 years old, is the second youngest Oscar winner ever, after Tatum O’Neal, who also won the Supporting Actress award in 1974 for Paper Moon, at 10.
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