I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Awesome Adaptations (37) - Nicholas and Alexandra

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,

Awesome Adaptations is a weekly bookish meme, hosted at Alisa Selene’s books blog, Picturemereading.  Anyone can play along! Each week there is a new category of adaptation to blog about. Any format (television series, film, web series, etc.) is acceptable as long as it is based in some form on a book. If you’re playing along on your own blog, just mention Picturemereading in your post and include the banner above. Let them know which film you’d pick and why it is an awesome adaptation worth watching. Oh, and don’t forget to share the link to your own post in the comments for that week’s challenge so that everyone can read your thoughts!

An Awesome Historical Fiction Adaptation
Title: Nicholas and Alexandra
Adapted from: Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie

I've not read the book and I am not very familiar with the story of the Romanov family so I can't speak about the quality of the adaptation or the fidelity to the real life events, but I can talk loads about the quality of this film.  It's very detailed and from that it seems like the film does it's best to be truthful to the lives of the Romanovs, while also making the action dramatic and cinematic.  It has gorgeous sets and costumes, and wonderful location shoots.  It shows the comfort and splendor of the upper class, and the squalor of the poorer classes very vividly.  What I think this film does so well is sympathize with both sides of the revolution, and the heart-rending position the generally well-meaning Romanovs are placed in.

The acting is stellar in this film and features the great Laurence Olivier, a pre-Doctor Who Tom Baker, Ian Holm, Timothy West, and of course my favorite actor Michael Jayston.  Many people talk about the extremely moving final scene in this film where the Romanovs are executed and it is very well-played out, and so full of tragedy and tension, but my favorite scene in this movie comes about mid-way, just after the Tsar has been forced to abdicate.  He goes back to his palace, regal and composed, until he gets to a private room where he sees his wife.  And there's this moment when they are looking at each other and they both break down from the horror of what has happened to them.  It just about broke my heart too, and I have to applaud both Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman for that brilliant moment.

This movie tells the story of the Romanovs and that time in Russia with respectful attention to detail and really delves into the heart of these people who had to live through this time.  It's an awesome movie and no doubt an awesome adaptation!

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  1. Michael Jayston is so good in this movie..that is my favorite scene as well!

    1. Too true! It's always been a fave of mine, and the second thing I watched after Jane Eyre!

  2. I'm very interested in Russian History of this era, but I've never seen the movie. Good to see that it's really well done. I love Laurence Olivier.

    1. I think you will enjoy it then! I'm interested in how well it captures the real history of the time though, I hope it won't be too hagiographic.