Directed by Laurence Olivier, the film of the highly acclaimed Chichester Festival Theatre production of Anton Checkov's play. An effortless performance by the most talented and prestigious case ever assembled for this work.
In the garden of a country house in 1890’s Russia, are gathered a strange yet somehow familiar set of people. An old lady (Maman) who constantly has her head buried in a literary essay or pamphlet; her son (Uncle Vanya), middle aged, restless, sensitive – also an intellectual; a doctor (Astrov) who is bored with his work, like Vanya feels in a rut, but has developed a romantic passion for forestry; a quiet girl (Sonya) withering on the vine with hopeless resignation; a strange hanger-on (Waffles) who entertains with a little guitar music and any amount of hero worship; a retired professor of literature (and Sonya’s father by his first marriage), wallowing in delusions about his talent and eminence in his world of literature, who, with his second, much younger, wife (Ilyena) exert a charismatic influence over the other members of the household. The atmosphere is at once sultry and languorous with sighs and yawns and self-reproaches, vodka, endless tea and endless discussion.