An intense and vivid document, The Pianist charts the trials of a Polish pianist, Wladyslaw Szpilman (an awesome Adrien Brody), and to a lesser extent, his family, over the course of the Second World War. Opening in 1938 just as the Germans are flexing their military might into Poland, Szpilman is a pianist on national radio and generally acclaimed as one of his country's finest musicians. Within the space of a few months, he and his family (who are Jewish) are subjected to a litany of barbaric treatments at the hands of the marauding Nazis. Before long, plans are in place to eliminate the entire Warsaw Jewish population and it's only through a stroke of good fortune that Wladyslaw survives. From here, he has to do what it takes, without sacrificing his humanity, to survive the war. Although the structure of the film is extremely rigid and episodic, The Pianist is a harrowing documentation of one man's struggle to live in the most extreme of circumstances.