(out of 5)

No one needs to see another period film where an innocent peasant girl is screwed over by a rakish aristocrat, yet somehow Roman Polanski’s direction contributes to a highly absorbing, totally mesmerizing film whose beauty is matched by its intelligence.   is fantastic as the young woman whose father discovers that their name is actually descended from an old line of English blue-bloods, and gets her into the manor of distant relatives (who turn out to be unrelated to them) on the basis of this information. There, she is thrown in the way of a rogue () who does wrong by her and throws her life into a completely new direction marked by romance and tragedy. Every frame looks like a painting come to life, but it’s not just pretty; this film has emotional resonance to spare, and the audience is hooked to its heroine’s destiny in a deep way.

Renn Productions, Timothy Burrill Productions, Société Française de Production

France/United Kingdom, 1979

Directed by

Screenplay by , Roman Polanski, , based on the novel Tess Of The d’Urbervilles by

Cinematography by ,

Produced by

Music by 

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by ,

The Criterion Collection

Academy Awards
Best Art Direction (art direction: Pierre Guffroy, Jack Stephens)
Best Cinematography (Geoffrey Unsworth, Ghislain Cloquet)
Best Costume Design (Anthony Powell)

Best Directing (Roman Polanski)
Best Music (Original Score) (Philippe Sarde)
Best Picture (Claude Berri, producer; Timothy Burrill, co-producer)

Golden Globe Award
Best Foreign Film (United Kingdom)

Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama (Nastassja Kinski)
Best Director (Roman Polanski)

New York Film Critics Award
Best Cinematographer (Geoffrey Unsworth, Ghislain Cloquet)

Best Foreign Language Film

Los Angeles Film Critics Awards
Best Director (Roman Polanski)
Best Cinematography (Ghislain Cloquet, Geoffrey Unsworth)

National Society of Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Cinematography (Ghislain Cloquet, Geoffrey Unsworth)

National Board Of Review Award
Top Ten Films

British Academy Award
Best Cinematography

Best Production Design/Art Direction
Best Costume Design

Cesar Awards
Best Film
Best Director (Roman Polanski)
Best Cinematography

Best Actress (Natassja Kinski)
Best Music
Best Production Design

Boston Film Critics Award
Best Director (Roman Polanski)



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