The Pianist promised a lot. First, there's Polanski's biography: he says he "survived the bombing of Warsaw and the Krakow ghetto." Fellini and Bergman each took their middle-class childhoods and parlayed them into masterpieces. Now, take Polanski's far more traumatic childhood experience and multiply it by his considerable film skills. Plus this is the first film in 40 years that he shot in Poland -- a return to one's linguistic and cultural roots should count for something. Plus this was his first Hollywood-sized budget in a long time. The plusses snowball -- how could he miss?
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