Louis Malle took Uncle Vanya to New York's 42nd Street, Michael Blakemore transplanted him to Australia in Country Life, and now Hopkins has brought him, via Julian Mitchell's capable adaptation, to late Victorian Wales. This directorial debut, however, leaves much to be desired. As Vanya, Hopkins indulges himself something rotten. Gentleman farmer Ieuan Davies scampers, larks, and generally behaves like a spoilt ham, but at least he's having fun. The other players barely get the measure of a film which veers from sentimental, philosophical interludes, à la Merchant Ivory, to rambunctious (unfunny) farce. Hopkins appears clueless when it comes to the camera. From time to time, he dispatches it on intrepid, ill-advised excursions around the cast with what can only be called missionary zeal. Elsewhere, he toys with depth of field and overlapping sound, but with equally unbecoming results.
Cast and crew