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81 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must!
Sometimes when you watch films based on classic books you are too busy comparing between the book to fully appreciate the film version. Well this scores full marks on both accounts. It both succeeds in creating an accurate version of the book, and works well as a film in its own right. Whether you have read the book or not. Whether you are a fan of period dramas or not...
Published on 18 Aug 2007 by Amazon Customer

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
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Published 6 days ago by Raghildur Ólafsdóttir


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81 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must!, 18 Aug 2007
This review is from: Tess Of The D'urbervilles [DVD] (DVD)
Sometimes when you watch films based on classic books you are too busy comparing between the book to fully appreciate the film version. Well this scores full marks on both accounts. It both succeeds in creating an accurate version of the book, and works well as a film in its own right. Whether you have read the book or not. Whether you are a fan of period dramas or not. This is a film you should watch.

It is both beautifully acted and is visually impressive. The photography is detailed and intelligent. The acting is top draw, the characters being portrayed with authenticity which easily involves you in the pathos of the story. As is ever with Hardy, you won't be expecting a typical "happy ending", what you will get however is much, much, more. You will get something that is genuine. Something that you truly moves you, gaining an experience that will stay with you for a long time. Trust me, buy it or rent it today.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding achievment, 27 Mar 2008
This review is from: Tess Of The D'urbervilles [DVD] (DVD)
A wonderful film, unbelievably well acted and directed.Beautiful shots of the " Wessex" countryside alongside the grim reality of rural squalour, and the unrelentless drudgery of agricultural labour. The smells and the sounds are all there; one is transported and locked into a world as seen by Hardy.Incredibly well done - the highest praise for all the production team.
See the film, enjoy it but be prepared to be emotionally moved. How fickle fate is; what monstrous consequences did the Vicar set rolling with that seemingly innocuous greeting " Sir Jack "
Tears are permitted, and ideed louder than well deserved applause.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential watch, 15 May 2003
I bought the DVD, being a little pessimistic whether it would do justice and adhere to the original story-line. There is often the risk that a novel can be ruined by a poorly dramatised version of the story. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised by this excellent interpretation of what I believe to be Hardy's most touching novel. The actors were perfect for their parts and played the characters superbly. I cannot imagine a better-suited cast of the characters.
It is sentimental without being cliched, the settings are extremely well chosen and the film is just the right length. The only criticism I can make about the production is the slightly cheesy narrative parts, which makes it sound like it is aimed at a child, though I must admit that it is necessary in order to keep it a suitable length.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, worthy adaptation, 19 Dec 2006
I think this adaptation was simply stunning. It remained, as far as I could see, true not only to the spirit of the book but also to the main events described there. In a brief reply to those who may find this depressing, that's Hardy's 'bag' - Plus, I don't think it reflects that Hardy 'hated' Tess. Rather, he told the tale of a young, independent-spirited girl who holds to her set of values despite the people around her. Her parents do love their daughter but are hopelessly naive about what the D'Urberville name might bring, and send Tess off as a young, vulnerable girl; being pushed into the path of Alec D'Urberville, who abuses Tess's naivete, her innocence is stolen and, as is characteristic of the whole story, fated events carry Tess on against her will. When she finds the thing she wants, love and marriage with Angel Claire, fate deals another blow to set her off course. The story is really about the cruelty of fate and the inability of humans to resist its power. But Hardy also considered a loss of religious faith which reflected his own and this is portrayed really well in this film. Other key themes were the effects of the industrial revolution on the countryside culture and life -

this is well depicted in the film.

The acting, beautiful music and good use of lighting / scenery also recommend this film - its so nice to see an adaptation which might inspire you to read the book (probably still the best way to enjoy this tale) than one which puts you off.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite adaptation - watch it!, 21 Jun 2008
By 
Morena - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This video had been knocking around my local charity shop for a while, and I'd been vaguely debating whether or not to buy it. It was only £2 but I was just so tired of hammy, thespy, unsubtle adaptations of beloved books, which reduce sub-plots and characters to tokens and use completely rewritten, overly 21st century dialogue. I love the novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and I didn't want to see it ruined.

Just five minutes in, as soon as Justine Waddell appeared on screen, I knew this adaptation was going to do the book justice. Justine Waddell is exactly how I had pictured Tess and at the beginning exuded the simple but dignified country girl sweetness of Tess (also, she is absolutely beautiful in a natural way, just like Tess. The camera loves her). She proves to be a very skilled and subtle actress throughout Tess' trials and tribulations; compelling and heart-breaking. In her scene with Alec towards the end, there is something positively Old Hollywood about her. Her voice is an instrument well-used, too. I honestly can't imagine a better performance of Tess; what an achievement.

Her male leads don't let her down either. Oliver Milburn is wonderful as Angel Clare. Although Angel is flawed and unwittingly cruel, Oliver Milburn helps bring out his appeal (it helps that he's radiantly attractive with strawy hair and a kind voice!) so we can empathise with Tess' idealisation of him and feel his neglect even more cruelly. Watching this adaptation actually helped me to understand their relationship better, because in my reading of the book Angel had come off as rather anaemic and sexless. In the last few scenes, his idealism falls away to let his love shine through so strongly; another heartbreaking performance!

Jason Flemyng is a wonderfully repellent Alec D'Urberville, though that's not to say his performance lacks subtlety; Alec could be a pantomime villain in the wrong hands but this adaptation shows his complex character. I felt he really did love Tess, in his possessive, insensitive, immature way.

The Wessex landscape was beautiful and the depiction of country life was respectful but unsentimental; it felt real. The cinematography is gorgeous, lighting up the countryside.

Overall, it's a lot more faithful to the book than most adaptations. This makes for a long film, but there isn't a redundant scene. I especially appreciated the amount of original dialogue from the novel. I can't imagine anyone who had read and loved the book being disappointed. I think they did Thomas Hardy proud!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has me in tears everytime., 26 Dec 2008
This review is from: Tess Of The D'urbervilles [DVD] (DVD)
This production encapsulates what Thomas Hardy presents in his novel; the harsh reality of toiling rural wessex, the culture, nature and the hypocracy of victorian society along with tess' tragic tale. The scoring was also very emotive. Would highly recommend this DVD especially over and above the most recent dry 2008 production. Acting is supurb with the south western accents (Important to me as I am from the same area). Beautifully told and has me in tears everytime.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and BitterSweet, 8 May 2008
By 
Laura Knight-Jadczyk (France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tess Of The D'urbervilles [DVD] (DVD)
A wonderful adaptation of the original novel. The sets are authentic and the characters are well-done. There were some differences between the this film version and the book, of course; it would be almost impossible to have a perfect match to a novel that is so subtle and heart wrenching; but this version comes very close.

Highly recommended.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - but very sad, 22 April 2007
This review is from: Tess Of The D'urbervilles [DVD] (DVD)
This film suprised me by how good it is. I will be buying this DVD. I haven't finished the book yet, as I find it very hard going and rented the DVD to help me finish the book. As a film in its own right, this adaptation takes you on a journey of highs and lows with the characters, you can not help but feel for Tess. If you like a happy ending like you find in the Jane Austen books, this is not for you. But it is compulsive viewing, beautifully filmed, the characters are realistic and succeeds in showing exactly what Hardy was saying, how hard life was for normal people. Make sure you have a box of tissues handy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardy TRAGEDY adaptation, 22 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Tess Of The D'urbervilles [DVD] (DVD)
You will notice my capitals in my review title. The reason being that I wish to warn those who have not seen it that this is what it is and I feel dismayed at those who gave it a low rating because it is depressing. It is an adaptation of one of Hardy's tragic novels and by definition does not have a happy ending! If you want a period drama that ends happily then stick to Jane Austen.

On with the review. This is the first Tess adaptation that I watched way back in my first year at uni and compelled me to read the book. The story is about a poor family who originally descend from the noble D'urberville line who attempt to reclaim their title by sending their eldest daughter (Tess) to claim kin. Tess meets not Mrs D'urberville but her son Alec. He takes a fancy to her and she starts work on the estate shortly after their meeting. A truamatic event follows for Tess and she returns to her home in an attempt to forget him.Tess has the worst luck in the world and after a couple of years moves to work on a farm to escape her past. She falls deeply in love with a man called Angel Clare and is happy for a while. Does Tess confess her past to Angel? Does he overlook her past? Do they end up happily ever after? Watch it and find out.

The 3 main actors are suitably cast for their roles. Jason Fleming is sleazy as the manipulative Alec though not quite as handsome as Alec should be in my opinion, Oliver Milburn is also very good in his potrayal as Angel. Justine delivers the naive and vulnerable nature of Tess quite convincingly.

If you have read the book before, then you will notice some changes within the adaptation though not necessarily "bad" ones. You may not wish to use this particular one if you're revising for A level Literature as it is not comparable scene by scene to the book.

I have a strong attachment to this particular adaptation since it was this one that acquainted me with Tess in the first place which has become one of my favourite books of all time.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest and well written portrayal of Hardy's novel., 11 Jun 2000
From the opening scene of this stunning production I knew it would be memorable. Justine Waddell could not be more apt as the dubious Tess; everything she does emphasises her earthy sexuality and pensive exploration of adult life. Oliver Milburn delivers an accurate Angel Clare and Jason Flemyng ouzes the arrogant confidence he has established from being "Lord of the mannor" Every setting echos Hardy's rustic Wessex and the green meadows with rivers meandering through them, basking in terracotta evening sunlight are truly the stuff of escapism. The screenplay is honest and accurate with the right balance of romantisism and tradgedy all contributing to a film that clearly understands every aspect of Hardy's great novel. The actors, to my mind are some of the most watchable of their day and I believe every Hardy lover should find this production does his novel justice.
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Tess Of The D'urbervilles [DVD]
Tess Of The D'urbervilles [DVD] by Ian Sharp (DVD - 2007)
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