I have been waiting for years it seems to get my hands on this film, truly unaware of what I was in store for. My friends raved Julianne Moore's performance here, and Louis Malle is one of my favorite film directors ever, so the chance to see his famed final act (yes, this is his last film) was a dream come true and yet it was unavailable almost everywhere and I couldn't seem to get a copy.
Then, behold, the glorious Criterion Collection!
Much in the vein of Malle's '81 masterwork `My Dinner with Andre', `Vanya on 42nd Street' feels more like a home movie than a feature film. This film basically follows the rehearsal by actors in New York covering Chekhov's classic `Uncle Vanya'. They take the play, scene for scene, and act it out, taking small breaks here and there for refreshments; but those scenes are few and far in-between. Instead, the film basically gives us glimpse at an intimate recreation of actors living and breathing a `scene'.
Beautifully shot (the cinematography is outstandingly intimate), wonderfully acted (the entire ensemble is so on point, but I was particularly impressed with Wallace Shawn) and expertly spliced to create an intriguing and engrossingly unique cinematic experience.
I loved this!