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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love It
To be honest I have never read anything by William Boyd before and when this was first advertised as coming on our screens I wondered what it was going to be like. After the first episode I went out and bought the bookAny Human Heart which I haven't touched as I didn't want to know what I would be seeing on the tv, now it is finished I can relax with the book at any...
Published on 13 Dec 2010 by M. Dowden

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars why it didn't quite get there
The overall production was very good, the acting the same, the story , the theme and the continuity also hit the mark,,, so why did it not get there,?,,,with all that happens to the main character , he seemed to be just hog-tied to a belief that life is a matter of luck, good and bad..and to meander through his life so full of tragedy , trauma, and be thrown into such...
Published on 17 Dec 2011 by evergreen


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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love It, 13 Dec 2010
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
To be honest I have never read anything by William Boyd before and when this was first advertised as coming on our screens I wondered what it was going to be like. After the first episode I went out and bought the bookAny Human Heart which I haven't touched as I didn't want to know what I would be seeing on the tv, now it is finished I can relax with the book at any time.

The story centres around Logan Mountstuart, who is a novelist and some time journalist. Ranging from about 1906-1991 we are given an entry into Mountstuart's life. His affairs, his friends all appear as we are shown occasions throughout his long life. Flashing between his old age and his younger self we get the feeling of Mountstuart looking back on his life, with regrets but also with happiness. With his old age, and like your average old person his health isn't the best it could be, we are also shown a very poignant sight. My gran recently died and she was the oldest of all her brothers and sisters, only leaving the very youngest one now alive, and this shows in a way what that is like. As relatives and friends die before you you kind of get a feeling of loneliness, and thoughts of will I be next.

All in all this was brilliant, from the script to the acting, and like all lives this doesn't show all doom and gloom, but those happy moments, those times when you wished you had done more and those times that are humourous, though sometimes this humour is quite black.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, funny, honest., 16 Dec 2010
This review is from: Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I have just finished watching the last episode of Any Human Heart. Like the previous reviewer, I am ordering the book, and can't wait to read it - if William Boyd's screenplay is anything to go by, the book will be astonishing.

This drama, although slow-moving, is utterly captivating. The themes of loss and regret are expertly, effortlessly woven throughout it, and the acting subtle, but moving. Jim Broadbent steals the show; in the first three episodes he hasn't even got a line but still manages to deliver a heartfelt, seamless performance. I will devour the book greedily, and when the DVD arrives I will savour it a second time.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Any Human Heart, 13 Dec 2010
This review is from: Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I agree completely with M Dowden, I to wanted the book & ordered it from Amazon, hoping it'll be delivered soon.

I noticed in the Radio Times that this production hasn't been too well received by the viewing public,which is so sad...for a change we got a story slowly told so that we could get to know the characters involved, lots of dialogue & minimal 'Action Sequences', call me old fashioned...I am,but it was wonderful for once to watch a programme which rates with 'Brideshead', 'The Forsyte Saga' etc. It's a classic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Never say you know the last word about any human heart..." (Henry James), 18 Dec 2011
By 
janebbooks (Jacksonville, FL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Ginia Bellafante wrote in the New York Times on February 11, 2011 that the Masterpiece production of "Any Human Heart" is a "Forrest Gump" for the literate. She also wrote that the beauty of the story is that "embitterment never sees its own victories. Failure, too, has its pleasure." A fun comparison yet fine words to describe the "heart" of one Logan Mountstuart, a fictional character, whose life in the 20th century is chronicled from his Oxford days in the 1920's to a mere existence in the 1990's.

William Boyd, who wrote the novel and the screenplay for this spectacular production, asks and answers this question: How did a boy adrift on a placid river in Uruguay become a grizzled old man sorting through piles of boxes and books in an old country house in France? It's a fascinating ride!

Sit back and enjoy the clever dialogue, the sets and the photography, the fine performances of Jim Broadbent and Matthew Macfadyen as Mountstuart.

Try to keep up with the wives and lovers. The casting is superb. Don't overlook the first wife, Lady Lottie Cassell, who gives Logan his love of the aristocratic life and a son. Hayley Atwell plays Freya, the much loved and beautiful second wife. Kim Cattrall (the sexy vamp from Sex and the City) plays Gloria, a redhaired lover and the third wife of Logan's Oxford buddy. And even after World War II, when Logan leaves a destitute life in London of eating cans of dog food and beans and moves to France, he charms a young neighborhood beauty who has a glorified memory of her father during the war. (The scenes of an older Mountstuart in military camoflage watching over her father's memorial plaque are hilarious.)

Enjoy the real-life 20th century figures who flit in and out of Logan's life. It does not go without saying...as the NYT reviewer suggests...that Logan with his minor literary fame meets Hemingway in Paris. There are multiple scenes with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Wallis Simpson is portrayed by Gillian Anderson (formerly of X-file fame) in glorious witchy mood---she even hisses! Ian Fleming becomes a suave friend who asks Logan to persuade the Windsor's to move to Bermuda for national security reasons and encourages Logan to join the Royal Navy.

What was so stunning midst Logan's trials and tribulations is the sad fact that he survives a son, a daughter, a wife and two very good friends from his Oxford days. Although he steals Peter's Oxford girlfriend and seduces his third wife, there's a great deal of admiration there: Peter is a best-selling author of mystery novels. And to Ben, the other friend, he gives five Joan Miro paintings smuggled out of Spain to start a successful gallery. And the tender scenes are tender indeed, when he takes in Gloria who is still beautiful but dying of pancreatic cancer. Their scenes eating pate and drinking wine on a disheveled bed are joyously poignant.

This is not a tale to remind us "that success is so often bestowed on those whose personal conduct would seem to warrant it least..." nor is it a tale of an embittered old man. It's just an entertaining story of one man's journey through the 20th century.

Enjoy! I did.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Any Human Heart, 19 Jan 2011
This review is from: Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I have read the book and loved it so was not sure whether the DVD would match up to the same level of enjoyment. It did! Clever use of retrospective format. My husband had not read the book and enjoyed it as well. The 1st part took us up to past 1 o'clock on the saturday night! Obviously certain strong elements of the story were less well detailed as time would have been a factor. The prison and the royals part of the story I noticed especially.
Would recommend this as much as the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, 10 Feb 2012
This review is from: Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
This book has recently been serialised on television and I usually don't watch anything twice but I could not resist purchasing the DVD (in fact I replaced my original purchase borrowed by my daughter). This is amazing and definately worth watch - following the life of the main character makes for an exciting and heartwarming adventure
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars why it didn't quite get there, 17 Dec 2011
This review is from: Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
The overall production was very good, the acting the same, the story , the theme and the continuity also hit the mark,,, so why did it not get there,?,,,with all that happens to the main character , he seemed to be just hog-tied to a belief that life is a matter of luck, good and bad..and to meander through his life so full of tragedy , trauma, and be thrown into such variety of life experience and put it down to luck seems not to match his sensitivity as a man and a writer.....so, I was left with a sense of betrayal and disappointment as he arrived at his elderly period and still seekimg to prove himself as a man with the local prostitute...I felt his person deserved more but jim broadbent portrayed him as childlike in his need to revive his love for the only woman who really loved him...I have not really explained quite what I felt about this worthy production but the three good actors who played the hero just did not seem to link well...how could they....somehow I feel that the writer was trying to put over perhaps a more personal viewpoint which got lost in the complexity of the story and the very grand project that it was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A meandering pleasure, 14 Sep 2013
By 
R. C. Harris "Eden House" (New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
A fictional series about the life of a novelist, Logan Mountstuart. I thoroughly enjoyed this 6 hours of entertainment. For me it worked best just watching one episode at a time. Don't rush it. Like a quality mellow wine it deserves to be enjoyed at leisure!

I would have thought six hours was sufficient to capture the book (which I propose to read), but in fact there were a few unexplained loose ends. There is a sequence where he ends up in Switzerland in 1944, that created more questions than answers, and did not really make a lot of sense. Maybe the producer did it that way to invite viewer's speculation? I hope the book will be more detailed and elaborate.

Mountstuart believes only in luck rather than the existence of divine intervention and, there is no doubt that he has more than his share of the bad stuff!

The use of three different actors to play the slowly aging Mountstuart works well. They successfully maintain the continuity of character. Such as, his naivety which is a running theme throughout his life.

In the special features there are a few deleted scenes. Most deserved deletion, with the exception of one in which, in his dotage, he has a revelation about his final `novel'. I think this scene was very important and was surprised it was left out. Possibly it was done to try to enhance the poignancy at the end, but in fact the absence of that scene reduced its credibility. A pity.

However, the whole series remains a lovely meandering pleasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful television, 26 May 2013
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This review is from: Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I read the book some years ago when it first came out, and loved it. I heard they'd done a TV version and bought the DVD. I've watched in twice, and it's just as good as the book. This is captivating, thought-provoking and all-round enjoyable television at close to its best. If you're in two minds about buying it, go with the mind that says yes. You won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 9 May 2013
By 
Chistopher King (Normandie, FRANCE) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Beautiful to watch, listen and feel. He skips a few of the scenes from the book but this TV adaptation is high class cinema drama
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Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010]
Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010] by Michael Samuels (DVD - 2010)
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