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Tess of the D'Urbervilles
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February 2014 - Tess > Movie/TV Adaptations

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Lindsey Buis | 77 comments BBC has a miniseries in 2008 with the same name, there was a 2011 movie called Trishna that was based on Tess and Roman Polanski directed a 1979 adaptation called Tess. Have you seen any of these? What do you think? Have you come across any other references or adaptations of the novel?


message 2: by Colleen (last edited Jun 20, 2015 05:23PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Colleen (noirdame) | 1 comments The first adaptation I saw was the 1998 A&E miniseries (co-produced by the now defunct London Weekend Television) starring Justine Waddell, Jason Flemyng and Oliver Milburn. It remains my favorite to this day (although I did enjoy the 2008 BBC miniseries and the 1979 film). Although I like Polanski's film, I think it's overrated in some respects. He omitted too many key scenes, and Nastassja Kinki's Tess is a bit too passive for my taste. But it's a beautiful movie. Gemma Arterton made a great Tess, and Hans Matheson was the best Alec of the bunch. The weakest link in the BBC mini in my opinion was Eddie Redmayne as Angel, he was far too lifeless and insipid (until the last scenes). But I think they are all worth viewing.


message 3: by Yun (new) - rated it 5 stars

Yun Yi | 7 comments Haven't seen any others but Kinski/Polanski version. Have no slightest doubt it is a classic, almost insurmountable film ever made out of this book. Not to mention the spectacular pastoral scenery (mostly shot in France), the beauty of Kinski alone is hard to be superseded. I heard Polanski had waited years for Kinski growing to the point that was the perfect for Tess. She was about 17 or 18 when she played this role. An phenomenal film!


message 4: by Yun (last edited Oct 19, 2015 09:13AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Yun Yi | 7 comments Just watched part of "Tess" by Kinski again. This time, somehow I found though Kinski does has the beauty the book describes, but somehow she lacks a little bit strength, or the tenacity Tess possesses. but still I cannot think of any other actresses better than Kinski.
Different from my former impression, I found the character of Angel Clare is well performed. Hardly think of any other actors can do the same job.


message 5: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Yun wrote: "Just watched part of "Tess" by Kinski again. This time, somehow I found though Kinski does has the beauty the book describes, but somehow she lacks a little bit strength, or the tenacity Tess posse..."

I want to watch the Kinski version :)
But I REALLY suggest you watch the Justine Waddell 1988 version as well; it's also phenomenal. And Oliver Milburn's Angel is incredible (unlike Eddie Redmayne's pathetic attempt); Oliver is amazing, and he had gorgeous chemistry with Justine. You should watch it :)


message 6: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Colleen wrote: "The first adaptation I saw was the 1998 A&E miniseries (co-produced by the now defunct London Weekend Television) starring Justine Waddell, Jason Flemyng and Oliver Milburn. It remains my favorite ..."

I agree with you; I ADORED the 1988 version, and although I haven't yet seen the 2008 version, I can seriously imagine Hans making a brilliant Alec. I saw just a bit of it and Eddie R was pathetic, in my opinion. Justine and Oliver were an incredible combination for the 1988 version; they had superb chemistry.


message 7: by Yun (new) - rated it 5 stars

Yun Yi | 7 comments Nikita wrote: ".."

Thanks Nikita! I will watch it soon. I saw screen shot, feel Justine Waddell's physical beauty doesn't match up with Kinski. Plus, the cinematography of Polanski is quite insurmountable (the wide screen format and every moment seems to be in perfect composition). I maybe a bit arbitrary on this judgment because I've not seen any others, so I keep the option in mind that I could be wrong on this.:-)

Another issue is, once we watched a good one first, it's very hard to get rid of that imprinted "the best" in our minds. Kinski so far is the best. Her age was perfect when she played Tess, around 18, bore that perfect innocence of middle teen. I actually realized that the reason why she lacks a bit tenacity in the later part of movie is because she was still a teenager but Tess in book jumps about 4 years span after she was raped - when she was only 16.


message 8: by Yun (new) - rated it 5 stars

Yun Yi | 7 comments Colleen wrote: "...Although I like Polanski's film, I think it's overrated in some respects. He omitted too many key scenes, and Nastassja Kinki's Tess is a bit too passive for my taste. ..."

eh... I agree with your comment on Kinski. Also she appears to be a little affected in that film, not totally like a peasant girl.

Will watch some other versions and see how I think of them.


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