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Film / Grand Piano

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Play one wrong note, and you die!

Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) is the most talented pianist of his generation, but has stopped performing in public because of his stage fright. Years after a catastrophic performance, he reappears in public for a long awaited concert in Chicago. In the sights of an anonymous sniper (John Cusack), Tom must get through the most difficult performance of his life and look for help without being detected.

This film provides examples of:

  • Arc Words: "The audience doesn't know it"
  • Bottle Episode: The majority of the film takes place in a Concert Hall.
  • Determinator: Clem insists on continuing the heist since he spent 3 years planning it, and kills his partner when he tries to leave.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even after already killing Wayne and Ashley, the assistant comes to his senses once Clem's lunacy over this heist kicks into overdrive. He gets a bullet to the head for it.
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  • Flat Character: Emma, Tom's wife. It's established that she's an actress, but other than that, she serves no purpose than to be put in danger later in the film.
  • Gasp!: The audience lets out a loud one, the first time Tom leaves the stage thinking he had another bout of stage fright.
  • How Much Did You Hear?: Subverted. Clem and the assistant forget that Tom has a device as well. At some point during the concert, the signals get crossed and Tom hears the conversation between the two, eventually revealing that that the assistant is part of the plan. The assistant in turn realizes that Tom heard it all.
  • Laser Sight
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Tom's feverish texting. It's very well executed as he's typing through the sheet music, and doing so while playing the piano.
  • No Ending: Tom plays the final four bars of La Cinquette correctly on the now-damaged piano, and the key is released. He picks it up, and the film cuts to black.
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  • No Name Given: The Assistant, he's never credited with a name but instead a title.
  • No OSHA Compliance: A rivet on the catwalks, causing it to come crashing down on stage, destroying the piano and killing Clem.
  • Piano Drop: Inverted. Tom and Clem fight on the catwalks towards the climax, and fall on the prized piano, completely destroying it.
  • Performance Anxiety: Tom experiences this after a performance of "La Cinquette" goes badly five years prior to his return.
  • Plot Device: The Grand Piano, moreso the Key locked within the mechanics of the piano.
  • Taking You with Me: Tom pulls this with Clem at the end. Tom survives, however.
  • The Omniscient: Clem, though he notices a lot, some things get right past him thanks to Tom's fast-thinking.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The assistant once he pleads for Clem to call the heist quits.
  • You Always Hear the Bullet: Averted the first time Clem uses his gun.