Video Picks Archive
Reviews by Matt Heffernan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This week my picks are Est-ouest (East-West) (1999 - ) and Doctor Zhivago (1965 - ).
The first film this week goes back to the late 1940s, when the
Soviet Union invited all Russian expatriates to return to their
homeland. Dr. Alexei Golovin (Oleg Meshikov) brings his
French wife (Sandrine Bonnaire) and their young son
(Ruben Tupiero) to Russia, but they soon find that life under
Stalin is far more harsh than they expected. Régis Wargnier's
East-West tells this story in great, sweeping motions,
with fine performances from the international cast, including
Sergei Bodrov Jr. and Catherine Deneuve as a French Actress
who helps Mrs. Golovin escape the country. It was nominated
by the Academy for Best Foreign-Language Film, but lost
to All About My Mother.
If I had to compare East-West to any other film, it would have to be David Lean's Doctor Zhivago. Omar Sharif plays the title character, who initially supports the Bolshevik revolution, but as the years go by, he sees how the system becomes corrupt. This is the background for a moving (if quite a bit overlong) story of love and betrayal. It is the last film in Lean's great trilogy of massive epics, preceded by The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia. The best part of the film is the haunting, unforgettable score by Maurice Jarre, which won an Academy Award. Oscars were also received for the screenplay (adapted from Boris Pasternak's novel by Robert Bolt), the cinematography (Freddie Young), the costumes, and art direction.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 2000 Matt Heffernan