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Doctor Zhivago (2002)
Exceeded my expectations
I watched this version on DVD without the advertisements and was more than impressed. I'm familiar with both the book and the Lean movie and I thought this version was a wonderful adaptation of the book and very enjoyable and entertaining viewing in its own right. I commend all those involved in having the courage to produce this version. I found many of the comparisons made were by people who obviously hadn't watched the Lean movie for some time.
Hans Matheson was a wonderful soulful Yury Zhivago, totally convincing as a poet and in his love of both women. Gorgeous too! Alexandra Maria Lara as Tonya was just wonderful, you really felt her love for Yury. Kris Marshall was a convincing Pasha and the minor characters were excellent too. Sam Neill revelled in his role as the dastardly villain. I didn't find Keira Knightley's Lara to be totally convincing as the older Lara and it was difficult to be convinced that Yury would give up his family for her.
The main weakness for me was the dialogue which was pedestrian to say the least and occasionally corny "Get off your high horses" etc. Visually sumptuous in places, I'm thinking particularly of the scene when Yury leaves the train and walks through the trees - just beautiful and you can practically see the poet in Yury being inspired.
Not a masterpiece or even a classic, but in the world of literary adaptations, as good as most.