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70
4.3 out of 5 stars
Any Human Heart [DVD] [2010]
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
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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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2010
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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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2010
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2013
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2012
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2012
I missed this when I it was on TV but spotted it in the Amazon sale. As Jim Broadbent was in it I thought it was worth a punt as he is such a superb actor! He was, of course, excellent even though his appearance at the beginning of the series was brief but silent. Such a powerful actor; so much conveyed without words. The "main event" was worth waiting for in terms of his performance! The series was beautifully slow moving and the characters engaging. I haven't read the book so I couldn't comment on how faithful it is to the novel, but certainly it made excellent viewing. Sam Claflin, Matthew MacFayden and Jim Broadbent all portrayed Logan Mountstuart in a seamless way - no glitch of disbelief when the character ages as you could get in a less-well made production.

I can thoroughly recommend this drama.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2011
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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on 24 September 2012
I purchased the DVD of AHH very soon - too soon - after reading and very much enjoying the novel. Too soon because so much of the novel had to be cast aside in order to fit the story within the confines of four ninety minute episodes. The result is not only a simplification of the narrative, but also a coarsening of its tone and a considerable veer towards stereotype, cartoon and humour. Given that Boyd himself wrote the script, this surprised me, and still does. However, the further into the story one goes, the less obvious I found these effects, and the more I was won over to a different kind and pace of story. The performances of the female leads are uniformly superb, which certainly helped. Those of male leads grow stronger with each Dr Who-style 'regeneration' - and Jim Broadbent, unsurprisingly, is magnificent. By the close I was enjoying the film very much, and was glad to have bought it. It is a much less sophisticated story than that told in the novel, which is in turn a much less sophisticated and interesting novel than Boyd's earlier 'New Confessions", which likewise attempts the story of an individual in his interaction with the sweep of the 20th century. I hope they don't try to serialise that one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2012
Any Human Heart [DVD]
This would have to be up there as one of my most favourite films. The character played by Matthew MacFadyen and Jim Broadbent would be a character that lived in any family during the 20th century. There's so much entertainment in this movie, it's hard to pick out any special part. The whole movie from start to finish, was riveting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2013
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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