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Birdsong [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Eddie Redmayne, Clémence Poésy
  • Directors: Philip Martin
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Mar. 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006Z510Y4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,268 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Sebastian Faulks’ epic love story set against the First World War, which became a modern classic when it was published in 1993, is adapted for the screen for the first time by Abi Morgan. The action of the two part film moves between 1910 and 1916, telling the story of Stephen Wraysford (Eddie Redmayne), a young Englishman who arrives in Amiens in Northern France to stay with the Azaire family and falls desperately in love with Isabelle Azaire (ClémencePoésy). They begin an illicit and all-consuming affair, but the relationship falters. Years later, Stephen finds himself serving on the Western Front in the very area where he experienced his great love. As he battles amidst the blood and gore of the trenches he meets Jack Firebrace (Joseph Mawle), a tunneller who unexpectedly helps him endure the ravages of war and enables him to make peace with his feelings for Isabelle.

Bonus Featurettes:

- War Story
- Love Story
- On Set

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tallpete33 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
This adaptation certainly seems to have polarised opinions going by the number of one and five star reviews (with little in-between) but I'm more on the barbed-wire fence for this one. Not having read the book I went into this open-minded and enjoyed it but with reservations:

Good:

Beautifully shot in HD - even in WW1, France (or wherever they filmed) looked fantastic. The producers were no doubt hoping for some rain to reproduce the desperate quagmires of the Somme but there was barely a cloud in the sky throughout and the trenches remained resolutely dry.
The battle set pieces (and all the other sets for that matter) were excellent, reflecting the time, money and expertise that had gone into this.
Storyline - nothing too new as the story switched back and forth between pre-war and the war itself but quite an uplifting ending

Bad:

Pace - incredibly slow moving in parts with over-long "meaningful stares"
Casting - Eddie Redmayne (last seen chiselling stone in the excellent Pillars of the Earth) was mis-cast as the male lead. Far too lightweight (literally) IMO and if you're not a fan this could be a deal-breaker with endless shots of his pale and morose mug in abundance.

It's a bit Band of Brothers meets Merchant Ivory but overall an excellently produced and watchable if quite slow mini-series (7/10).
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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful By L. Macleod on 5 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
The book is powerful and heavy but iconic. However, if you are adapting 'Birdsong' for TV it has to have essential qualities that cannot be found in a book; that is why some reviewers are being ridiculous in their analysis. First of all, it has to have beautiful visuals and this production provides them at the highest level. The visuals include magnificent sets especially the war scenes which are very disturbing and real - they take you right into the heart of the book. Then there is the love story - an exquisite love story of the most passionate and powerful nature; between an early 20th century repressed British man and his forbidden love for a married French woman - the production casts two beautiful and gifted actors and they give us a top class performance that is real and heartbreaking. I cannot praise this television production enough. It is television at the highest level - well done to the BBC. It is dismaying to find people who are not happy with such beautiful and poignant productions for mainstream television. If you see the trash that is on most of the time - Birdsong transcends the ordinary and that is what the book does too. They are a perfect match.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J & K on 3 Jun. 2012
Format: DVD
I was never a great fan of Faulks's book and if this had been a longer adaptation I probably wouldn't have bothered but at two episodes it seemed easy enough to manage. The first thing to note is that Abi Morgan's adaptation has, wisely, abandoned the 1970s strand and just concentrated on the events of 1910-18. Against that I thought some of the acting was a bit `empty' and depended too much on quivering lips and meaningful stares. I thought the score was a bit trite in places too. The Western Front seems more desert that mud quagmire - particularly bizarre for the final battle set in 1918.

However, and seemingly against the majority opinion here, I thought it was very good, especially the second episode. The depiction of the battle of the Somme, although not as broad or epic as a movie depiction, was nevertheless shattering and moving. I also thought the dénouement moving. Not a perfect bit of television but and engaging and thoughtful adaptation nevertheless.
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Kev Stock on 5 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
I thought this BBC adaptation was very good. I don't agree with other reviews complaining about the lead being emotionless, deadpan and no oomph! This is how he was supposed be portrayed; the man was dead from within because of events back in 1911. This is about a man who has lost his only love and doesn't know why! He's hardly going to be dashing! I thought the portrayal was magnificent and totally believable. Great supporting cast; Joseph Mawle was superb. Stunning battle/trench scenes and a very painful insight into the tragedy and blundering of July 1st 1916.
A truly superb film that is far far superior to a certain horse running around in no mans land, occasionally bumping into cardboard characters!
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58 of 73 people found the following review helpful By ballet girl on 23 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD
Please ingore the previous awful review and be put off. I have only seen first part so far - but cannot wait for the second. Being one of my favourite books it had a lot to live up to. It is beautifully made and acted with a superb cast that fully captures the essence of the book. I cant praise this highly enough. It is moving, thourght provoking and relives a sombre era fully of loss. Watch it
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By evechar on 29 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
I saw this adaption on TV and was completely and utterly entranced throughout both parts of it. I can safely say I have never before felt so emotional after watching a TV programme. Eddie Redmayne, what can I say? Beautiful man and brilliant actor. Some people weren't keen on the long
, lingering looks between him and his lovely co star Clemence Poesy but I found it hugely romantic and really quite realistic. All in all, one of the best pieces of viewing I have ever had the pleasure of seeing (along with the recent adaption of Great Expectations).
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