A strong-willed young peasant girl attracts the affection of two men.A strong-willed young peasant girl attracts the affection of two men.A strong-willed young peasant girl attracts the affection of two men.
- (as Nastassia Kinski)
Not one of Polanski's masterpieces but has much to admire regardless
Tess had a lot going for it, a wonderful book and a director that was responsible for masterpieces like Chinatown, Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby. Tess didn't quite live up to the promising potential it did have and I don't consider it one of Polanski's masterpieces. However it is a commendable film and adaptation(even if I do prefer the 2008 BBC series) and better on re-watch than when I saw it a couple of years back and didn't care at all for it. The film is overlong, and while the pace is purposeful considering the book's complexity there are times where it does get a bit too languid. On the other hand, visually it is stunning with evocative scenery and photography. The music is also resolutely haunting, the scripting thought-provoking and literate and the story having its necessary pathos as well as being devastating and powerful in equal measure. The denouncement with Stonehenge as the backdrop is just stunning. The characters are not as complex as in the book or the series but are still interesting and emphatic. Nastassja Kinski does have moments where she is a little flat, but on the whole it is a very moving performance. Peter Firth is suitably subtle as Angel Clare and Leigh Lawson's menacing Alec comes close to stealing the film. Polanski's direction is exemplary. All in all, has much to admire but falls flat of being a truly outstanding movie. 7/10 Bethany Cox
- Aug 16, 2012
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