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Vanya on 42nd Street Reviews

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Sean Axmaker
Turner Classic Movies Online

... a record of a creative collaboration that has a life of its own, at once documentary, filmed rehearsal, play within a play, and private production restaged for a camera...

Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online

March 10, 2012
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com

Reuniting with Andrew Gregory, Louis Malle, in what became his swan song, has made a modern, captivation version of the Chekhov play.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: B+

May 7, 2011
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's amazing it has taken Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory, and director Louis Malle more than 10 years to collaborate again. It was worth the wait, though.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A

July 6, 2010

Empire Magazine

The drawback, however, is that the actors chew the scenery in true stagecraft fashion, which, on film, induces regular wincing and a wish that they would hand out the valium and take it easy.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 2/5

August 12, 2008

Film4

Not entirely successful, but undeniably brave.

Full Review Source: Film4

August 12, 2008

TV Guide's Movie Guide

There are moments of considerable power here but this stripped-down rendering gives us something closer to a latterday dysfunctional family than Chekhov's doomed bourgeoisie.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3/4

August 12, 2008
Todd McCarthy
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The performances are precise, the language is alive and well spoken and the setting is striking, but Vanya on 42nd Street still suffers rather heavily from the limitations of filmed theater.

Full Review Source: Variety

August 12, 2008
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Malle adeptly eases us into the play so we can't tell at what precise moment Chekhov takes over, an ambiguity that becomes the film's triumph as well as its key limitation.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

August 12, 2008
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It offers a unique viewing at a work in progress.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: A-

November 6, 2007

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's more power here than in all the multi-million dollar fireworks of Hollywood.

Full Review Source: Time Out

January 26, 2006
Sarah Chauncey
Reel.com

A movie by, about and for actors.

| Original Score: 4/5

June 10, 2004
Dragan Antulov
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Despite great acting, the general impression of the film is underwhelming.

Full Review | Original Score: 6/10

December 22, 2003
Janet Maslin
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The elegant understatement of this production turns it into a livelier experiment, a fluent, gripping version of one of Chekhov's more elusive plays.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4.5/5

May 20, 2003
Elbert Ventura
PopMatters

It's more than a worthy capper to Malle's brilliant career.

Full Review Source: PopMatters

October 4, 2002
Dan Lybarger
Lybarger Links

A lively and intriguing adaptation of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya."

| Original Score: 4/5

July 30, 2002
Betty Jo Tucker
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Much too talky.

| Original Score: 2/5

July 29, 2002
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This live-wire Vanya, freshly observed for the '90s, is fiercely funny, touching and vital.

May 12, 2001
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A film which reduces Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" to its bare elements: loneliness, wasted lives, romantic hope and despair. To add elaborate sets, costumes and locations to this material would only dilute it.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 1, 2000
Hal Hinson
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In terms of dramatic action, almost nothing happens, and yet Malle's fluid, invisible style carries us deep into the hearts and minds of these characters.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

January 1, 2000
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle

The overall effect of Uncle Vanya on 42nd Street is that one has just experienced something truly timeless.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 4/5

January 1, 2000
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