War & Peace

War & Peace

The Complete Miniseries

DVD - 2016
Average Rating:
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A modern take on one of the most famous stories of all time. In 1805 when we first meet Pierre, Natasha, and Andrei, they are all part of St. Petersburg's glittering elite, but are fired up with youthful ambition to find meaning in their lives. As everything they thought they knew is questioned, Pierre, Andrei and Natasha find themselves in a time when Russian society is about to change forever.
Publisher: Beverly Hills, CA :, Anchor Bay Entertainment,, [2016]
Branch Call Number: DVD War
DVD TV WAR
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (354 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: War and peace [DVD]

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d
dirtbag
Nov 18, 2017

Well done. This was much less painful than when I read the book many years ago. When I read the book I had to keep a list of the characters in the front of the book with who was related to whom. You still need that when watching the movies. I thought that Paul Dano was especially well cast.

l
LisaintheLibrary
Oct 28, 2017

I have a couple of confessions to make:

1) I checked this out because I had heard good things about this production and because I didn’t really want to spend the time reading the book

2) The first couple of episodes bored me, but I forced myself to keep watching

Truth be told, by the time I got to the end of the fourth episode, I was hooked and couldn’t wait for the next one.

The final scene was a bit of a departure from the previous episodes. I suppose it mirrors the epilogues you'll find in the full novel. The final scenes are a glimpse into the lives of the Russian families who had survived this tumultuous period in history and is a clear jump into the future by a few years. It seemed as if it was shot with a different camera and at first I didn’t like it. It seemed too modern, too fresh. But then I realized that perhaps this was the very statement the director intended to make … for these Russian families and Russia as a country. The novel War & Peace, a novel with various themes to include reaching an understanding of the various elements of life by experiencing their opposites, is set in Russia during a period of time that spans 15 years — 1805 to 1820. During this time period, Russia is invaded by France with a force twice the size of the Russian regular army. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the novel (or at least this television adaptation) ends with a scene of bright, airy optimism and like stark contrasts of life and death, imprisonment and liberty, suffering and joy, sometimes a stark contrast is needed for the full weight of a message to be heard, felt, or seen. If you watch it with that perspective, I think you’ll enjoy this version of War & Peace from beginning to end. But even if that isn’t your bowl of borscht, you may like this story (and this production) for the period costumes, the love affairs, and the scandals alone.

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Also: For any Spanish speakers out there (or Spanish language learners), this does also have Spanish subtitles which I found to be quite good.

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P.S. I watched this long before the Weinstein scandal broke. I don’t watch a lot of film, so when the letters W E I N S T E I N flashed across the screen at the beginning and end of every episode, I thought to myself, “Who is this Weinstein? Whoever he is, he’s behind some great productions if this is any indicator.” Well, guess what? I know who he is now. (Weinstein actually refers to The Weinstein Company, a company founded by Bob and Harvey Weinstein.) All I can say is this: Don’t let that scandal taint your opinion of this production or keep you from seeing it. To do so would punish all of the wonderful actors, costume designers, and other hard-working individuals who gave their time and talent to this production. I don’t know if this makes it any easier for you to borrow this from the library, but 1) the library has already purchased this DVD and 2) talks are already underway for the sale of the Weinstein company.

There is only one Tolstoy. This 2016 BBC/TWC miniseries does a superb job bringing WAR & PEACE to life. The performances are excellent, as is the cinematography and score. The story if you're not familiar with it is about the intersecting romantic lives of the Russian nobility -- counts, princesses, etc. -- during the Napoleanic wars. Make sure you have some hankies handy because you'll need them by the time you get to episode 7.

b
ba_library
Jul 24, 2017

Very good BBC miniseries consisting of 8 episodes - 45 minutes each. It has been a very long time since I have read the book, so the story details were forgotten for me. Starts with Napoleon invading someplace in Europe and Imperial Russia (Czar Alexander I) sends troops to stop him. Involves several families (I was getting a little confused - whose sister is that or whose cousin?) Younger set of people are experiencing life events - weddings, looking for mates, looking for careers and general philosophizing. Pierre unexpectedly inherits a large estate and becomes wealthy, a scheming gal ties to pin him down in order to get at his riches, but his heart belongs to his childhood sweetheart Natasha (who seems to fall in love with someone new every episode). By episode 7 Napoleon is getting closer to Russia and the Russian people must fend for themselves against France. Well done series, good acting and settings, episodes are short enough so you don't bored or confused.

AL_STEFFEN Nov 22, 2016

I watched this series as a companion to the Tolstoy novel, which I listened to on a 60-hour audiobook. They did a really amazing job, and the musical soundtrack is phenomenal.
I wasn't a huge fan of actress Lily James in Downton Abbey (more her character than her acting) but she was great in this. They all were!
This series and book strangely reminded me of the Game of Thrones series - a lengthy epic full of rich characters whom you fluctuate between loving and hating.
I was hooked on this miniseries when Gillian Anderson from the X files popped up within the first five minutes, presiding over a high-society party in an aristocratic Russian, lavender off the shoulder gauzy gown. The actor who plays Pierre, Paul Dano, is particularly convincing and Aisling Loftus, never seen her before, is a gem as the pitiful Sonya, my favorite character, who gets the shaft in one of the biggest upsets in Classical fiction in my opinion.
Blare this soundtrack with the windows open and watch people pause and stare at your apartment! That's what I did!

If I could only watch one movie for the rest of my life, I think this would be it. This newest adaptation covers about every theme: Love, friendship, loyalty, duty, forgiveness, faith, suffering, regret, courage...the list could go on. I loved the remarkable visuals, the expert casting, the tense war scenes, the love sagas. And somehow the portrayal of death was so painfully accurate. I was really filled with anguish after watching _____'s spirit float away into the afterlife. "Where has he gone? Where is he now?" (Sob!)
Overall, a well-balanced film. Good and evil, joyous and sorrowful, war and peace.

c
chetgraf
Nov 02, 2016

since War and Peace has been a favorite book of mine since I was a teen, I was really looking forward to watching this, but was wildly disappointed. I didn't think the writers grasped what Tostoy was getting at at all. Or maybe it just got processed through the rewrite and production grinder to eliminate all character, social, and historical subtleties that stepped out of the bounds of modern viewers' assumptions and preconceived notions of how people act and how the world is or was. I gave up half way through.

While not up to modern visual standards, the 1971 BBC version with Anthony Hopkins is truer to Tolstoy's sensibility and intent. And far less crude, simplistic and histrionic. I highly recommend that production.

m
maipenrai
Oct 08, 2016

A very nice version of "War and Peace". Good acting, but the characters never quite captured my heart like Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn. Recommend as a thorough version of the classic. Kristi & Abby Tabby

j
jrfeldman
Oct 07, 2016

If you love watching a sweeping drama with beautiful costumes, intricate set design and stunning locations, then this new adaptation of War & Peace is a must! This miniseries will make you laugh, cry and think.

2
21221018293347
Aug 30, 2016

One rainy day I binged watched this BBC series. I have never read the book. I really enjoyed the movie. Paul Dano was exceptional as were Lily James and James Norton. Great historic battles, families, the aristocracy of Russia. Highly recommend it.

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gsoone
Sep 08, 2016

A modern take on one of the most famous stories of all time. In 1805 when we first meet Pierre, Natasha, and Andrei, they are all part of St. Petersburg's glittering elite, but are fired up with youthful ambition to find meaning in their lives. As everything they thought they knew is questioned, Pierre, Andrei and Natasha find themselves in a time when Russian society is about to change forever. BBC series, 357 min.

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