BBC production of 'Sergei Prokofiev (I)''s opera "War and Peace" performed by the Kirov Opera under the baton of Valery Gergiev in St. Petersburg, Russia. The love story of young Countess ... See full summary »
Eight-hour epic based on the book of the same name by Leo Tolstoy. Two main story-lines are complex and intertwined. One is the love story of young Countess Natasha Rostova and Count Pierre... See full summary »
This film is the record of the stage performance in 1953 by the cast of the Moscow Art Theater. Based on the eponymous book by Leo Tolstoy. Anna Arkadievna Karenina is 20 years younger than... See full summary »
After recently reading and falling in love with the book, I started doing research into the filmed adaptations of the novel. I first watched the BBC adaptation from 2000, which impressed me, but I was somewhat disappointed by the amount of editing done to the story.
I, therefore, picked up this version with great anticipation, because it is much longer (10 hours) and I was hoping would therefore be a more fully realized version of the story.
Unfortunately, I barely made it through the first hour before turning it off and giving up on it.
The whole production felt too staged and unnatural for my taste. The actors looked like English 'thespians' dressed up in stock period costumes rather than Russian aristocrats. And they all more or less spoke in the same loud and clear stage voice making the conversations feel less intimate than I would have liked.
Camera-work and directing was mostly just like that of a noontime soap opera.
I'm sure that in 1977 this was perfectly acceptable, but nowadays, it is just not good enough to spend time watching. It certainly does no justice to what is often considered one of the greatest novels ever written.
If you are looking for a filmed adaptation of this story, stick with the more recent version from 2000. While it is a somewhat edited down version of the story, it is a much superior product that does a far better job of fully capturing the richness of Tolstoy's novel.
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