I don't understand why there are so many negative reviews of this (boring, too long, badly acted, sappy music). To me, this 1985 is one of the top 10 movies of all time. I've seen it at least ten times. It is superbly cast and acted. Streep is perfect in conveying a Danish woman. The film courageously shows how life can be a series unending strife and failure that only the strongest can survive, with all too few bits of joy sprinkled in. All of the main characters show the difficulties and complexities of human relationships. The film has great subtlety (maybe that's why some viewers got bored), photography that really conveys the wonders of 1915 Africa, and a deeply evocative score from master movie composer John Barry. His score is haunting and full of grief and is so expressive that it acts as another character. There are many supporting characters that serve to deepen the story and relationships. I found myself caring deeply for Baroness Blixen and the Kikuyu she cared about. There are no flaws that I can detect. It's not a film about right and wrong, just surviving. It's also just not a film made for insensitive people.
I am in my 60s and have been a student of cinema forever. Sometimes I watch bad movies with the morbid fascination of watching a car accident. This one qualifies: it is overly melodramatic, has bad dubbing (non-English speakers uttering unatural phrases; like Foreign B movies of the 60s), overacting, long scenes that add no obvious value. It seems like every other scene is designed to get a big 'awwww' from the audience. It just made me feel cynical and sarcastic. As though someone went to Spielberg school and came away with only the most saccharin, schmaltzy elements. I don't mind in the least that Bruce Willis got paid enough to do this. Every actor, especially after a long successful career can make a number of bad flicks and it doesn't destroy their career. I would have given it 0 stars, but didn't want anyone to think I had merely forgotten to rate it.