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Vanya on 42nd Street Reviews

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Todd McCarthy
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
Betty Jo Tucker
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Much too talky.

| Original Score: 2/5

July 29, 2002
Dragan Antulov

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

Full Review | Original Score: 6/10

December 22, 2003

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
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

| Original Score: 3/5

July 31, 2002
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
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Vanya on 42nd Street may be the most innovative and successful straight film adaptation of any play.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 1, 2000
Mark R. Leeper

Amore traditional performance with the same actors would have gotten a higher rating.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: low +2 out of -4..+4

January 1, 2000
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
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

I've never really seen anything like Vanya on 42nd Street.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
Christopher Null

Even if you don't get everything there is to get, it's an incredibly unique film worth seeing.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/5

January 1, 2000
Dan Lybarger
Lybarger Links

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

| Original Score: 4/5

July 30, 2002
Dan Jardine
Apollo Guide

| Original Score: 4/5

December 18, 2002
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
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
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
Carol Cling
Las Vegas Review-Journal

| Original Score: 5/5

April 16, 2004
Sarah Chauncey

A movie by, about and for actors.

| Original Score: 4/5

June 10, 2004
Daniel M. Kimmel
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

| Original Score: 4/5

February 8, 2004
Marc Vincenti
Palo Alto Weekly

| Original Score: 4/4

May 20, 2003
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