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Birdsong 1 Season 2012

Season 1
4.1 out of 5 stars (722) IMDb 7.4/10

Epic love story set against the First World War, based on Sebastian Faulks' novel about a soldier who finds himself fighting in the area where he had an illicit affair before the war.

Starring:
Eddie Redmayne, Clémence Poésy

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Season 1

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1. Birdsong - Part 1

As Stephen Wraysford fights in the terrifying death-filled trenches of northern France, he is haunted by memories of his past. This episode contains graphic violence and sexual situations not suitable for all viewers.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 1 hour, 25 minutes Release date: April 22, 2012
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2. Birdsong - Part 2

Stephen Wraysford recovers from his injuries and prepares for a major offensive, still haunted by the legacy of Isabelle Azaire. This episode contains graphic violence and sexual situations not suitable for all viewers.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 1 hour, 21 minutes Release date: April 29, 2012
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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Romance
Director Philip Martin
Starring Eddie Redmayne, Clémence Poésy
Supporting actors Matthew Goode, Rory Keenan, Thomas Turgoose, Richard Madden, Joseph Mawle, Simon Nehan, Daniel Cerqueira, Nicholas Moss, Marie-Josée Croze, Matthew Aubrey, Paul Rattray, Misi Dunai, Piroska Molnár, David Monteath
Season year 2012
Network BBC
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on April 30, 2012
Sebastian Faulks' beloved WWII novel "Birdsong" makes a handsome two-part presentation as a part of Masterpiece Classics. Fans of the book, especially with the U. K. premiere, expressed a fair amount of disappointment in the liberties taken by Abi Morgan (The Hours, which coincidentally was also much more acclaimed on its U.S. debut than it had been in Britain). Having read the source material many years ago, I think this is an earnest adaptation. I don't get too caught up with the similarities and the divergences, however, the work must stand independently as a film. The harshest criticisms that I have read seem a bit unwarranted, but the glowing accolades miss the mark as well. This well-meaning and gorgeously produced film experiences some of the same problems that many adaptations of a literary success have faced. It's hard to bring the subtle nuance and introspection of fine prose to the screen without it seeming a tad disconnected.

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.
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Format: DVD
I watched the first half of this two part series on television on Sunday night in HD (it was beautiful) and the second half after I rented the dvd. The first part is now available through 5/22 on the PBS website.
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.
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All i can say is wow! PBS has really became a great channel! this show/movie was so good! i watched it at least a dozen times already!! the cast and acting was superb! PBS spared no expense filing Birdsong, it is blockbuster stuff!
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Format: Blu-ray
Sebastian Faulks' beloved WWII novel "Birdsong" makes a handsome two-part presentation as a part of Masterpiece Classics. Fans of the book, especially with the U. K. premiere, expressed a fair amount of disappointment in the liberties taken by Abi Morgan (The Hours, which coincidentally was also much more acclaimed on its U.S. debut than it had been in Britain). Having read the source material many years ago, I think this is an earnest adaptation. I don't get too caught up with the similarities and the divergences, however, the work must stand independently as a film. The harshest criticisms that I have read seem a bit unwarranted, but the glowing accolades miss the mark as well. This well-meaning and gorgeously produced film experiences some of the same problems that many adaptations of a literary success have faced. It's hard to bring the subtle nuance and introspection of fine prose to the screen without it seeming a tad disconnected.

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 ›
2 Comments 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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