A Russian Prince experiences battle against Napoleon and a troubled relationship with his father and wife. Finds acceptance of her death and eventually his chance of true love. A spoiled, ... See full summary »
A Russian Prince experiences battle against Napoleon and a troubled relationship with his father and wife. Finds acceptance of her death and eventually his chance of true love. A spoiled, high-society fickle young woman loves and her years of unhappiness. A Count illegitimate, idler son reflects on politics and friendship. Experiences his first and hopeless love, is forced into a marriage with serious consequences and finally survives Napoleon invasion of Moscow and its aftermath. Written by
Condensed classic of epic proportions and sensual sensory splendors! This Italian T.V. mini series is studded with an international cast of brilliant players and enough extras to fill the Cinecitta Rome set five times over. One of the fascinating things about this marvelously accessible version of the story is that it is in English. Don't let the Russian Box fool you. An extra added bonus it that the film was shot in Russia so you get the added pleasure of seeing some incredible architecture of the period and the stunning Russian countryside (And a little of Lithuania.) There is in the huge cast some real stand out performances. Brenda Blethyn is wonderful as always, and as Prince Andre's father Malcolm McDowell is chilling and arresting in his approach to the part.
In the lead female role we have the lovely Cemence Posey, who is near perfect in a role so associated in the West with Audrey Hepburn. There have been complaints that she is a blond in a traditionally dark haired part, but that seems trivial to me in comparison to her performance. In the romantic lead of Prince Andre is the wonderful Italian star, Alessio Boni. He brings to the role a deliciously tragic gravitas that is so important to the story. He is a brilliant actor who needs more exposure on this side of the world. Just check out his work in 'The Best Of Youth' and 'Don't Tell'.
Also the incredibly beautiful Violante Placido plays the wicked Helene with relish and great style. Not since Polly Walker in 'Rome' has there been such a delicious wicked woman on the screen. She was a delight to watch and I found myself missing her when she was not on screen.
Benjamin Sadler, who was so brilliant in Augustus is on had to lend his considerable slithery charm and great presence to the role of Dolokov. Why is this actor not a huge star yet? Yes there are many other worthy performances to see and savor in this lush and enthralling film, too many to go any further with here. Rather, take the chance and get this film and let the magic of Tolstoy's timeless story take you into a world that is gone with the wind.
Yes it is not as huge and epic as the 1968 Russian classic but it is none the less even at times more wonderful! The disk is splendid with clear beautiful image and great sound. As I said the film is in Enlish with an international cast. It is obvious they are all speaking in English and if any are dubbed that is Not obvious. Very well done in the sound department. And the score by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek is lush and soaring. Most particularly stunning at the end of act two as Natasha descends the grand staircase with the viper Anitole Kuragin,Ken Dunken on her heals.
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