Władysław Szpilman was a Jewish-Polish Pianist who, despite all odds, managed to survive the horrific German occupation of Warsaw, Poland. Perhaps no other director was better prepared to tell his story than Roman Polanski, who escaped from the Krakow Ghetto as a child after the death of his mother. Despite devastatingly emotional material, Polanski doesn't wallow in the sadness, instead embracing moments of quiet beauty amongst one of the greatest tragedies in modern history. He rests the entire film on the pitch perfect performance of Adrien Brody, who goes from naive professional to harrowed, impossibly traumatized survivor in a world so unrecognizable, that it seems nearly post-apocalyptic. When you witness the barbaric behavior of the Nazis in the film, it might be easy to believe the end of the world wasn't far behind. The 2002 winner of the Palme D'or at Cannes, and a truly powerful film.