Vanya On 42nd Street Movie 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.


Comments

Vanya On 42nd Street Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: PG, 1994

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

"Fifty Shades Of Grey Trailer" Reaches Viral Status: Most Watched Trailer Of 2014

If you’re not a Fifty Shades of Grey fan, that’s ok, apparently the...

Actors That Just Can't Stand The Sight of Each Other

Recently, Freddie Prinze Jr. revealed that he thought Kiefer Sutherland was ‘the most...

Actors That Just Can't Stand The Sight of Each Other

Introducing Magic, The Band Behind This Summer's Hit, 'Rude'

You've heard the song on the radio. People are humming it anywhere...

Introducing Magic, The Band Behind This Summer's Hit, 'Rude'

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj Link Up For 'Bang Bang' Single

What happens when three of the biggest names in pop music all have...

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj Link Up For 'Bang Bang' Single

Everybody Wants A Piece of Chris Pratt, Guardian of The Galaxy

It’s been a well-documented rise to fame for Chris Pratt – the guy who used...

Everybody Wants A Piece of Chris Pratt, Guardian of The Galaxy

The Best Movie Trailers To Emerge From Comic-Con 2014

The San Diego Comic-Con may be over but the buzz surrounding its contents is only just...

The Best Movie Trailers To Emerge From Comic-Con 2014
Advertisement

Sharks And Absurdity Descend On NYC In "Sharknado 2: The Second One"

As unfortunate as the idea of Sharknado 2 sounds, it’s happening. Let that...

Tara Reid - Sharks And Absurdity Descend On NYC In

Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Scuffle

Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber are reported to have clashed on a night out on the island of Ibiza...

Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Scuffle

Chris Martin And Gwyneth Paltrow Spotted Together At Film

Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow were seen together at a movie screening on Monday...

Chris Martin And Gwyneth Paltrow Spotted Together At Film


More recommendations

Advertisement