Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1hr 39m
A masterfully executed interpretation of Chekhov’s 1896 stage play, delivering a fresh look at the theatre classic.
Impeccably cast, it features Annette Bening (American Beauty, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool) as Irina, the vain, ageing actress and Billy Howle (On Chesil Beach) as her idealistic writer son Konstantin. Continuing her streak of dazzling performances is Saoirse Ronan as the ethereal and naïve Nina, an aspiring actress and Konstantin’s girlfriend— little does she know, however, that she has competition from Masha (Elisabeth Moss), who also has her eye on the young writer.
The story, set over two years at the beginning of the 20th Century, allows us to peer into the knotted lives and intertwined relationships of Chekhov’s moping characters against the backdrop of a lakeside estate outside Moscow, with the advantage of closely shot scenes bringing us closer to their subtext-laden dialogue. It offers a dissection of society— from failures to successes, from young to old, from rich to poor— and lets us observe how they interact with one another (read: torment each other).
With complicated love webs aplenty, this drama is a wonderful reinterpretation of a famously fascinating play.