Guy Pringle and his new wife, Harriet, are members of the English community in Bucharest, Rumania on the eve of World War II. The film catalogs and chronicles, after the war begins, the ... See full summary »
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Guy Pringle and his new wife, Harriet, are members of the English community in Bucharest, Rumania on the eve of World War II. The film catalogs and chronicles, after the war begins, the characters [diplomats, literary types, spies, penniless royalty, gays, lesbians] that cross and re-cross their path as they flee before the advancing Germany armies to Athens and then to Cairo. Written by
Noble Bell <email@example.com>
I've just watched Fortunes of War again after a 17 year gap and it is every bit as good as I remember it.
The fact that Branagh and Thompson's marriage fell apart in the 1990s adds poignancy to their acting of marital tensions here.
Much of the drama revolves around Harriet's struggle to get Guy to "see" her as a person in her own right, although Branagh's portrayal of Guy's grief is the emotional high point.
Two supporting roles deserve a special mention - Ronald Pickup as the (ultimately) lovable aristocratic rogue Prince Yakimov, and Alan Bennett as the blinkered, snobbish and self-important Lord Pinkrose. Thank God we were spared more than the first five words of his lecture!
Even the small roles (e.g. Simon's army physiotherapist) are beautifully played.
The camera work is also wonderful - particularly the final shot.
The only drawback of seeing it on video, as opposed to the original TV episodes, is that the haunting theme tune is only heard right at the end of the film.
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