A mute woman along with her young daughter, and her prized piano, are sent to 1850s New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, and she's soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.
In the Victorian period, a rural clergyman tells John Durbeyfield, a simple farmer, that he is descended from the illustrious d'Urberville family -- now extinct. Or maybe not. Durbeyfield sends his daughter Tess to check on a family named d'Uberville living in a manor house less than a day's carriage ride away. Alec d'Urberville is delighted to meet his beautiful "cousin" and seduces her with strawberries and roses. Actually, Alec has gotten his illustrious name and coat of arms by purchasing them. Tess also takes up the game of illusion when she finds, loses and finds again her true love Angel Claire. Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I saw Tess as a teenager and the images and emotions have lingered with me ever since. I remembered Natasia Kinski as Tess being tempted with a strawberry by her cad of a cousin, the subtlety of showing a murder by just having the tiniest spot of blood appear on the ceiling below, the powerful poetry of the final scene at Stonehenge... I have just watched the film again and it was even better than I remembered. I will go to my grave being in love with Kinski in this role! I had forgotten also what a perfect performance Peter Firth gives as Angel Clair, and the apparent authenticity of life in rural Victorian England. Perhaps what is most extraordinary is the leisurely pace at which the story is told. Shots linger on the countryside after characters have said their lines and moved off. many sequences exist entirely to build up to a single glance or gesture. Altogether Tess is a superb lesson in story telling and one of the truly great movies of all
23 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?