Welcome to Only You, a new monthly feature in which we recommend one (and only one!) piece of recently released content for you to stream!
Jane Campion’s improbably successful 1993 drama, The Piano, was added to Amazon Prime’s ever-growing list of free streaming titles on Monday, and—whether you’ve seen it before or not—and you should give it a watch. Don’t spend an hour mulling between your options while your dinner gets cold. Just turn on The Piano and be done with it.
The movie, a sort of feminist poem written and directed by Jane Campion, tells the story of a mute pianist named Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter) and her fiercely protective daughter Flora (Anna Paquin) as they adjust to life in some muddy village off a particularly desolate coast of New Zealand. The only reason they’re there is because she’s been forced into marrying some temperamental rich guy (Sam Neil) with whom she has negative sexual chemistry, so—trapped in a dreary new land and horny as hell—she decides to start up an affair with a local brute (Harvey Keitel) who thinks she’s the bee’s knees. She discovers pleasure and passion—even her voice—and ultimately deals with the fallout of her secret romance.
I’m not recommending this as some kind of underrated discovery, by the way. It’s a classic by most definitions and I’m sure you’ve at least heard of it. After winning the Grand Prix at Cannes (well, sharing the Grand Prix), the film received near-unanimous critical acclaim, spawned a best-selling soundtrack (which remains incredible), and won three Academy Awards—all of which went to women. Harvey Keitel even famously shows his dick in it! For a while!
So wrap yourself in its “weird lullaby.” You don’t need to spend seven hours rewatching the Matrix trilogy. You don’t need to feign excitement over the addition of Seasons 4 and 5 of House of Lies. Inside Llewyn Davis is too sad, Wicker Park is even worse than you remember, Cloverfield will make you sick, Final Destination 3 is the worst one, The Wedding Planner and What Women Want will make you write tweets that include the phrase “more problematic than I remembered,” and it’s a little too early in the year for horror.
As streaming services drop truckloads of new (and old) seasons of television and compete with theatrical releases by premiering movies of their own, choosing something to watch at home can be a particularly daunting task. So if you’re feeling a bit of streaming anxiety, reduce your options to one—for one night, at least—and direct your clicker to The Piano.