Vanya on 42nd Street Reviews

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk
July 14, 2015
The alchemy of Gregory's staging and Malle's direction turn what could have been an exercise in canned theater into something very nearly sublime.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
July 3, 2015
A deeply moving, inspirational secular-sacred experience both for its beautiful embodiment of Chekhov's story of unmoored souls and for the beauty of the greatest collaborative art form, practiced with pure joy and for love. [Blu-ray]
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Sean Axmaker
Turner Classic Movies Online
March 10, 2012
... 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...
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
May 7, 2011
Reuniting with Andrew Gregory, Louis Malle, in what became his swan song, has made a modern, captivation version of the Chekhov play.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 6, 2010
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 | Original Score: A

Empire Magazine
August 12, 2008
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 | Original Score: 2/5

Film4
August 12, 2008
Not entirely successful, but undeniably brave.

TV Guide's Movie Guide
August 12, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
August 12, 2008
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.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
August 12, 2008
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.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
November 6, 2007
It offers a unique viewing at a work in progress.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic

Time Out
January 26, 2006
There's more power here than in all the multi-million dollar fireworks of Hollywood.
Sarah Chauncey
Reel.com
June 10, 2004
A movie by, about and for actors.
| Original Score: 4/5
Dragan Antulov
rec.arts.movies.reviews
December 22, 2003
Despite great acting, the general impression of the film is underwhelming.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
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 | Original Score: 4.5/5
Elbert Ventura
PopMatters
October 4, 2002
It's more than a worthy capper to Malle's brilliant career.
Dan Lybarger
Lybarger Links
July 30, 2002
A lively and intriguing adaptation of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya."
| Original Score: 4/5
Betty Jo Tucker
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
July 29, 2002
Much too talky.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 12, 2001
This live-wire Vanya, freshly observed for the '90s, is fiercely funny, touching and vital.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
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