Russian landowner (Hutton) falls in love with German shopkeeper's daughter (Golino), is seduced by formidable aristocrat (Kinski), and loses both of them. So much for story. Even so, motives and desires remain confusingly ambiguous in Skolimowski's lightweight adaptation of Turgenev's novel. This aspires to be a prestigious international production, which means the ill-assembled cast speak in thick, dubbed accents, the photography is ravishing, the sun is always setting, and even the peasant extras are beautifully turned out. If chocolate boxes could move, this is how they'd look. Odd touches of bizarre humour apart, nothing spells the signature of the director of The Shout and Moonlighting, and when the man himself appears at the bewilderingly abrupt finale, ascribing to Hutton 'a life empty of all meaning', one wonders if that wasn't the problem all along.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Jerzy Skolimowski, Arcangelo Bonaccorso|