Birdsong: Masterpiece Classic
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
I also watched all 3 short extra feature documentaries.
This is a wonderful film, however it should be noted that there are several fairly graphic war scenes and several scenes with sexuality.
The three short documentary featurettes are also worth watching. One addresses the love story, one addresses the war story and the third featurette discusses the behind the scenes filming. The movie was filmed in part in Budapest, Hungary. The actors, director, producer and costume designer all speak warmly and intensely of their involvement in the production.
This film is a not-to-be-missed Masterpiece theatre two-part series. If you have read the book, you will find some differences. I won't go into detail, since I have not read the book as of yet (I have skimmed through it), but one major difference is that the 1970's part of the novel is not included in the film. That is probably no great loss, since many readers felt that this part of the book was not necessary.
Clemence Poesy (Isabelle Azaire) is stunning and Eddie Redmayne (Stephen) is also captivating. The juxtaposition of a love story and the historically realistic gut-wrenching story of the loyalty and comraderie among soldiers in the tunnels of France in WWI makes for a very solid plot.
The second half of this series will be presented on many PBS Stations on Sunday evening, April 29th. It's well worth a look!
I will add more to this review at a later date.
Eddie Redmayne plays the title character (this casting upset some, but Redmayne is quite good even if not the perfect "book" Stephen of your imagination). His story is told between two juxtaposed stories: one supposedly recounting the love story of his life, one his days in the trenches during the Great War. As he remembers his idyllic true love, however, it seems a little less successful than I would have liked. A pre-war Redmayne meets a lovely French woman (Clemence Poesy) when he is working with her husband. After a few chaste exchanges, suddenly they are deeply in love with no regard for her circumstances. The only cue that this is a grand romance is Redmayne's moony expression when no one is looking but the screenplay never builds much romance or even friendship between the two.Read more ›
But conscious to remember a much happier time... when he was employed at a textile factory in France. His employer is the wealthy, older René Azaire but it is his lovely young wife Isabelle (Clémence Poésy) who most attracts Stephen's attention. Quiet and self-contained, she can often be heard weeping at night. Her stepdaughter is not much younger than she is, and is romantically interested in Stephen... but he has eyes only for the beautiful young woman who suffers so much in silence. As their affair unfolds and carries them both into desperate times, the audience travels back and forth between earlier simplicity and later turmoil during wartime. Many films employ this tactic but few accomplish it with as gentle of grace as Birdsong.
Though I have not read the book, I understand that certain things, including the style of the narrative, have been changed. Fans debate heatedly over whether or not the cast is appropriate... I found them a lovely couple to watch with natural chemistry that sparks through lingering glances more than passionate love scenes. One could argue that some of these glances are too long, that eyes meeting over dinner or on the river with music dramatically swelling in the background can at times be a bit dull... and yes, it is true that it prolongs things considerably. The photography is glorious and the costuming exquisite.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was an engaging and beautiful movie and Eddie Redmayne's acting was as usual remarkable with his subtle and then not so subtle wooing of a beautiful married woman played by... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Suz
The audio was terrible. Hard to understand actors constant mumbling and whispered dialogue. Erotic explicit sex. Story was weak.Published 1 month ago by Southern Gal
I'm a huge Eddie Reymayne fan. This was sweet and sad, but beautiful to watch.
Loved it and wanted a copy for my dvd library.
I think I returned this item. Have no memory of seeing it. Sorry can't be of more help.Published 4 months ago by NanAnn