Vanya On 42nd Street

"Excellent"

Vanya On 42nd Street Review


Someone had an idea: take an 1860s play by classic Russian writer Anton Chekhov, and get director Louis Malle, screenwriter David Mamet, and actors Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn, together to make a feature film of it.

The only thing more puzzling than this scenario is the fact that this movie, Vanya on 42nd Street, is a fabulous film. "Uncle Vanya" is the play in question, a tragicomic tale of family members plagued by broken hearts, lost youth, and missed opportunities. The film's premise is that "Uncle Vanya" is being performed by a small theatrical group, and the film simply captures the last rehearsal of the play before the costumes arrive.

The film is absolutely faithful to the play, the stories of young Yelena (played by the stunning Julianne Moore) and her elderly husband Aleksandr, his daughter Sonya and her love for the local doctor, the doctor's pursual of Yelena, and good-hearted Uncle Vanya (Wallace Shawn), who weaves all the stories together. The intricacies of the play could take up this entire newspaper, so I'll leave a bit of mystery to the story to encourage you see it for yourself.

The film belongs to Shawn, who acts with such believable, raw emotion that I left the theater speechless. Rising star Moore is fantastic as well. Be warned, the film makes you work at following the story. It isn't easy to catch all the nuances of speech in only one viewing. But even if you don't get everything there is to get, it's an incredibly unique film worth seeing.



Vanya On 42nd Street

Facts and Figures

Run time: 119 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 19th October 1994

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 30 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Nanny, as Maman, as Serybryakov, as Waffles, as Yelena, as Dr. Astrov, as Sonya, as Vanya

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.