DVD & Blu-ray review: Tess (12)

Roman Polanski DVD/Blu-ray (161mins)

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The Independent Culture

Leigh Lawson's rotten Alec D'Urberville claims, “Beauty has its price.” It always does with Thomas Hardy and this bleak rural soap opera is no exception.

Filmed in northern France, this is a languid, pretty adaptation from 1979. A 17-year-old Nastassja Kinski, with her patchy West Country accent, plays the tragic peasant girl caught between Peter Firth's hopelessly indecisive parson's son and Lawson's cad (“I was born bad”). Beautiful cinematography from Geoffrey Unsworth and terrific performances from Tess's two suitors.