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'The Pianist' Trailer : Polanski's most personal film is also one of his best, a Holocaust movie that's as much about a world gone mad as it is about the event. It has some of Polanski’s subtlest touches, from the shift in costumes from vivid period clothing to dank grays and browns to the use of limited perspective of Wladyslaw Szpilman (a haunted Adrien Brody in an Oscar-winning role), who can never know who to trust or where to turn to, and who's helpless to do anything to resist the Nazis if he wants to survive. Polanski also sees the dark (if impossible to laugh at) absurdity in Szpilman's situation, as he's constantly spared death not by the use of his wits, but by sheer dumb luck. He maintains a sense of bitter irony up to the end, when one German's good deed isn’t enough to save him from oblivion. The film earned Polanski a surprise Oscar win for Best Director, and a richly-deserved one. [A-]

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