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Onegin [DVD] [1999]

Ralph Fiennes , Liv Tyler , Martha Fiennes    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Ralph Fiennes, Liv Tyler, Toby Stephens, Lena Headey, Martin Donovan
  • Directors: Martha Fiennes
  • Writers: Alexander Pushkin, Michael Ignatieff, Peter Ettedgui
  • Producers: Ralph Fiennes, Ileen Maisel, Simon Bosanquet
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Jun 2000
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TITM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,320 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Given that for Russians, Pushkin's poem Eugene Onegin is sort of like Hamlet, Beowulf and Lord Byron's Don Juan rolled into one melancholy tale of lost love and ennui among the gentry, it's surprising Russian filmmakers have balked at adapting the film. Having taken a stage production of Hamlet to Russia where it was rapturously received, self-confessed Slavophile actor Ralph Fiennes must have thought he was making reparation when he executive-produced and starred in this faithful adaptation of the film. With Martha Fiennes on board as director, it's something of a family affair with more than a little of the solemnity one often discovers in "personal projects". Pushkin's romanticism comes across amply, but little of his ferocious wit or, inevitably, the authorial voice that makes the poem so compelling, even in translation. Ralph Fiennes typecasts himself in the title role: his Onegin is yet another of the actor's wintry, haunted lovers in period dress (this time early 19th century). The character, a jaded roué from St. Petersburg, summers in the countryside where he inadvertently wins the heart of the impulsive Tatyana (Liv Tyler, the girl they book when Gwyneth Paltrow's busy). Onegin's casual attitude to her love leads to a tragic duel (magnificently tense and perfectly staged), and years later a chance meeting stirs up feelings of regret, triumph and moral queasiness. Tears well in eyes, letters are sent and read, furs are ruffled in the snow. This is the high-brow end of costume drama: patrician in its literary purity, and rather admirable in its restraint and good taste, if a little dull. If you're not a fan of genre, you might start screaming for Steven Seagal to descend from a helicopter and start spraying the impeccable sets with an Uzi. --Leslie Felperin

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Brother and sister team Martha and Ralph Fiennes collaborate together on this opulent Russian epic. Eugene Onegin (Ralph Fiennes) is a restless but dashing Russian aristocrat whose boredom with life often results in self-indulgent and shallow actions. He meets, and bewitches Tatiana (Liv Tyler) who not only falls in love with him, but professes this, an act not acceptable for women in those times. Initially he refuses of her, but this is act that sets forth a series of events that over many years culminate in tragedy and thwarted love.... SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, ...Onegin (1999) ( Eugene Onegin )

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well crafted film with an evocative soundtrack. 13 April 2008
By Annabel Gaskell VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Directed by Ralph's sister Martha, this family affair is a beautifully made film. This look of this film is all light and dark; the white of the Russian winter and wide expanses of countryside compared with the claustrophobic darkness of many of the interiors. However the subtext of the main story of unrequited love is distinctly in shades of grey.
Young St Petersburg aristo Onegin (Fiennes) is left a country estate in his Uncle's will. Tired of the city, he begins to enjoy the country, forming a friendship with neighbour Lensky, and meeting the enigmatic Tatyana (Tyler). But he makes two rash moves, he rejects Tatyana's love, and secondly he kills Lensky in a duel over an imagined impropriety with Lensky's fiancée, Olga, (Tatyana's sister). Returning to the city after several years of travels, he finds Tatyana married into Petersburg society and he becomes obsessed by her now she has become unobtainable.
Russian melancholy suits Fiennes' brooding brow and dark eyes to a T; as Onegin he is cool and detached, but there is an spark inside struggling to get out. But Onegin always takes the easy option - something he lives to regret. Liv Tyler is a beautiful young Tatyana and manages the transition to a woman well although she can't help looking young, and Toby Stephens is good support as Lensky.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have rarely seen such beauty in a film as Onegin. The leading actors are formidable, and the photography is so refined, and compelling to the eye, that it is a thrill. The wardrobes are stunning.

Go for it, it will be one of those rare gems in your DVD collection.

If sex stars had been available it would not have been enough. I hope to see more from Martha Fiennes, she is up there with her brother - She is a rare and outstanding director. Ralf has proved his outstanding ability as an actor, a long time ago - He is met in the same capacity by Liv Tyler.

The lack of Oscars, reveals Hollywood, as being totally unaware of some of film productions finest hours.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Onegin - a classic well filmed 7 April 2002
As a Russian, I would say that Onegin is a success. In many other movies Russian characters are almost anecdotal or lack the Russian spirit, but it is not the case in this movie. When I saw Ralph Fiennes I was astonished how well he felt and played Eugene Onegin. He got into the role perfectly. He looked totally like one would imagine a high society gentleman.
I started reading Eugene Onegin in Russian right after I saw the movie. Yes, unfortunately some things were not included in the movie. For a foreigner it may be very hard to understand Pushkin’s poetic language and impressions, leave alone including them in a movie that is intended for English-speaking audience. If most of the poem was included in the movie, the majority of the audience most likely would not have understood it. However the director of the film got the main idea of the story and did not make the movie a tasteless sequence of cute scenes overwhelmed with superfluous details. The story develops at a good pace.
Oh, and another thing was the use of what sounded like Bulgarian or some other music. It could be gypsy music, but definitely not Russian. In any case, it is not the music I would associate with rural or suburban St.Petersburg of those days. Luckily the music was beautiful and did not spoil the movie a bit.
Good job!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece! 11 Jun 2008
Overall: great directing, smashing play, spectacular camera work and interesting extras. The main characters demonstrated interest in the context and were `qualified' on the scene. The props and costumes looked perfect too and that is not just in my personal opinion but of a fellow historian of costumes from Moscow. Ralph Fiennes is always convincing depicting controversial villains. He looks very natural, sometimes appropriately revolting. Liv Tyler looks good too, definitely like someone you can relate your private life's worries to.
It shows a bit of Russia and a lot of emotions, it's suits Pushkin's masterpiece accordingly. Loved it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Russian delight 11 Feb 2009
While Liv Tyler performs the customary enigmatic self as sees in other of her works, Ralph Fiennes manages to be the self-indulgent dandy, too bored to concept the ways of his surroundings. Onegin ends up being riddled by a love he does not understand himself. The film follows the original novel of Pushkin's rather accurate in short of a few short-cuts to save time.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and atmospheric. 27 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is a very good adaptation of Pushkin's feature length poem, Eugene Onegin. It is true that not much of the clever wit contained in the poem comes through in the script, but this does not detract from the film. Beautiful cinematography and lovely locations make this an atmospheric film. Wonderfully enigmatic performances from Fiennes and Tyler, who, although not an obvious onscreen pair, manage to muster up enough chemistry to make it all quite emotional to watch at times. Very enjoyable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'MUST SEE' MOVIE! 11 April 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I would probably go as far as to say this is one of the most beautiful movies ever made!

This film is about 'unrequited' love - but there is a turnaround, and unlike many stories in this genre; it does not have a happy ending... In fact; several lives are ruined because of it.

The performances of all are quite excellent - Liv Tyler in particular shines as she plays the part as sincere as any actress could ever get. Of course, the good looks of Ralph Fiennes goes a long way to help, but it's more than just 'easy on the eye', and not to be confused with any type of simple 'Mills & Boon' romance. This is a much deeper and emotional ride.

There's some gorgeous scenes in this; heart-stoppers and pure dramatic - and I guess many will be familiar with the scenario poor 'Tatyana' puts herself in when writing to 'Onegin' and awaiting his reaction to it. This is a situation that is perhaps more common in our more liberal and modern times - but most certainly not in those days, and as a result, makes for interesting viewing - and waiting!

I once saw the Ballet/Opera version of this years ago and thought it might make a good movie, but it's not easy to bring this kind of Art to the Silver Screen, and though it can be done, so seldom is, but 'Onegin' is proof that the British still can do it - sadly though, not so often these days.

A real 'gem' of a Picture and definitely a 'must see'!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
A masterpiece of sound and dialogue. Superb acting by Fiennes - nothing unusual here.
Published 11 days ago by claudiu maniu
5.0 out of 5 stars "Exquisitely beautiful"
By coincidence I noticed this film when I was looking for a specific Tchaikovsky CD. I decided to buy it to find out if all these extremely positive words about it really could be... Read more
Published 1 month ago by A de G
5.0 out of 5 stars Go and see it!
Brilliant, well acted, amazing cinematography!
Published 2 months ago by Gemma
5.0 out of 5 stars good acting
I loved the product very much. Ralph Fiennes was wonderful in the movie. The scenery was fantastic and so was the story line. I would recommend it to all romantics like me
Published 4 months ago by Grace W. Cerere
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, evocative and moving
Rarely seen a piece of classical Russian literature played on silver screen. This is very well done from all aspects. Read more
Published 7 months ago by X.W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, stunning stunning.
I could watch this film over and over again and indeed I have! The cinematography is first class, the acting top rate and the story hauntingly moving. Read more
Published 8 months ago by clio
5.0 out of 5 stars By far the most passionate and moving interpretation of Pushkin's epic...
A skilful, intelligent, dramatic and highly passionate performance by Ralph Fiennes throughout; this wonderful enactment of Pushkin's Epic poem is set in Russia in freezing... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Fiona Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare beauty
Indescribably good...Ignatieff`s script, the wonderful direction, acting, sets, locations.

So many wonderful scenes,the opening for me reminiscent of Napoleon`s escape... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Wallace Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Very very good
I just love movies that sometimes show you that in real life stuff don't always work out, that there is such... Read more
Published 15 months ago by goulielmos votikas
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and Engrossing
I enjoyed all the performances in this film, which I thought was true to the spirit of the original work.
Published 16 months ago by Lesley Whyte
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