An impassive young girl is taken from her suicidal London life, back to her home in North England on a bizarre bus trip. Seen through the poetic eye of the camera, this is a commentary of doomed British morbidity. In HD.
Crime series about a secret government department, "Room 17", set up to deal with crimes that baffle police & government agencies. Headed by veteran WW2 agent Oldenshaw and partnered, ... See full summary »
This exceptionally well-done miniseries easily surpasses both the Vidor and Bondarchuk versions. It makes the most of its nearly 13 hours, featuring many excellent performances, strong cinematography, and a good script. In addition, the director's use of long takes really allows the actors to *interact,* adding to the overall feel of realism.
Hopkins is likeable and believable as the twitchy, self-conscious Pierre. Dobie is excellent as the somewhat distant Andrei -- he succeeds in being handsomely iconic without seeming stupid or wooden. In fact, it's hard to imagine a more effective performance of this role. And Morag Hood is very good as Natasha, once the character ages a bit (it's hard to accept a woman in her late '20s as a 14-year-old).
The writers and actors also avoid the cardboard characterizations of historical figures that so often plague historical fiction; the main adversaries in the "War" -- a self-important Napoleon and the disfigured, forthright General Kutuzov -- are both vividly portrayed.
There are occasional weaknesses, but for the most part, this is a wonderful production.
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