Martha Fiennes directs her older brother Ralph in this innovative adaptation of the classic 19th Century Russian novel. Eugene Onegin is a jaded socialite whose indifference jeopardises an opportunity to experience deep and abiding love. In the tradition of Dr ZhivagoOnegin features great performances, clever dialogue and stunning cinematography.
 

3.5
Visually the film is tremendously beautiful, with British and Russian locations seamlessly integrated.

Evgeny Onegin, (Ralph Fiennes), is a jaded socialite who leaves St. Petersburg for a visit to the country where he has inherited a vast estate. He befriends his neighbour, Lensky, (Toby Stephens), and is introduced to his fiancee, Olga, (Lena Headey), and her sister, Tatyana, (Liv Tyler). Tatyana, an intelligent, romantic young woman, is fascinated by the worldly Onegin and even writes him an ardent love letter, which he rejects. But he becomes involved in a pointless argument with Lensky which results in an even more pointless duel - with tragic consequences.

Pushkin's verse novel has been effectively adapted for the screen and marks the directorial debut of Martha Fiennes, Ralph's younger sister - another sibling, Magnus, provides the beautiful music score - talented family. These are, it's true, very British Russians - even Liv Tyler assumes a near-perfect English accent - but still the film is surprisingly moving as it explores the privileged world of this effete man about town who is suddenly felled by a hopeless love. Visually the film is tremendously beautiful, with British and Russian locations seamlessly integrated; and there's a breathtaking visual transition in which Tatyana, on her arrival in the city, blossoms before our eyes.

 

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1 hour 46 min

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