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The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Widescreen) [Import]
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Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Tomas, the happily irresponsible Czech lover of Milan Kundera's novel, which is set in Prague just before and during the Soviet invasion in 1968. Lena Olin and Juliette Binoche are the two vastly different women who occupy his attention and to some extent represent different sides of his values and personality. In any case, the character's decision to flee Russian tanks with one of them--and then return--has profound consequences on his life. Directed by Philip Kaufman, this rich, erotic, fascinating character study with allegorical overtones is a touchstone for many filmgoers. Several key sequences--such as Olin wearing a bowler hat and writhing most attractively--linger in the memory, while Kaufman's assured sense of the story inspires superb performances all around. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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First and foremost there is a little of everything here. Daniel Day-Lewis is possibly the finest method actor of his generation and the subtlety of the Czech accent, the easy passion of the love scenes and the frankly mouth-watering on-screen tension with Lena Olin is a joy to behold. As for Olin herself, i may be alone, but i think she oozes sexuality and temptation here in a way that a Sharon Stone never could in Basic Instinct. Juliette Binoche is also one of the finest actresses of a generation (Alice et Martin, Three Colurs Blue and an Oscar for the terrible English Patient where she was the only thing worth watching) and she portrays the innocence and vulnerability of Theresa with an effortlessness that she deploys in all of her film roles. As for her display of under-arm hair, i have nothing to add!
Take three fine lead performances, add the perfect, haunting, musical score and the tense backdrop of the Prague Spring of 1968 and we almost have a perfect film. At times the story meanders and at 2h 46mins, does lose the attention into the third hour. I wondered at times why more was not made of the on-screen dynamic between the two female leads and also why the camera dwelt for such long periods on Day-Lewis driving his East-European motor vehicle, but it all adds to the period feel of the piece.
If you do not feel sad come the end, i should be extremely surprised, this is an excellent and engaging piece of film-making.
I'm not going to summarize the whole film for you as that would probably be too long-winded and could potentially spoil the story. I'll introduce the characters, place them in a setting and then say go...and then you can add this to your shopping cart, proceed to check out, and then a few days later press play. The film takes place in Prague in 1968 just after Alexander Dubcek lead the Prague Spring advancement. Soon after that the characters suffer through further reform following the eventual invasion of the Soviets and the Warsaw Pact. The film opens with two characters who are lighthearted and carefree lovers.Read more ›
When we first meet Tomas(Daniel Day Lewis) he is involved with Sabina(Lena Olin)and what they share is an almost religious belief in the erotic and an equalllly strong belief in retaining their individuality and frredom. On a visit to a spa in the country to perform an operation however Tomas comes across the innocent waitress Tereza(Juliette Binoche) and his life after that is never quite the same. Sabina resents the intrusion at first but soon she and Tereza are friends, in fact the moment they become friends on a rainy afternoon taking pictures of each other is one of the best scenes in the movie. A lot is made of the historical happenings and how they affect each characters personal life. I found it a little hard to believe that they would willingly return to Prague under communist rule after they had made their escape to Zurich but you may feel differently.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is an excellent, 2-disc version of my favourite film, done 2.5 decades ago. At close to 3 hours, it is a long film. Read morePublished 12 months ago by FilmFan2010
The setting is Prague before and after the invasion by the soviets - not so timely anymore but still riveting. Read morePublished on July 22 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Like another reviewer, I saw this movie when it was first released and owned it on VHS. This movie has something for everyone. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2010 by Johannes Doreleyers
I read the book of Milan Kundera and it was so so good !!!!! When i saw this movie it was so so awful !!!!! Very bad interpretation of this book and bad actors !!!! Read morePublished on Nov. 29 2008 by Christel Gabriel