Tess (1979) (mini-review++)

tess(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

Tess (1979)

acting 9

directing 8

effects 9

editing 8

writing 7


4.1 out of 5 šŸ™


I haven’t seen every Roman Polanski movie. I’ve seen Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, The Pianist, and now Tess. Bruh has a dark sentimentality. No shade on noir or bleak themes but even the one happy-ish ending among the ones I have listed was set during the Holocaust. Tess is the story of a farmer’s daughter in Victorian England. It’s based on the Thomas Hardy of the same name. I haven’t read the novel so I don’t know how faithful the adaptation is. But I do know that Polanski puts this poor woman through hell and back again. When I think of period pieces in this time and place, I think of Jane Austen and soaring romances (not that Jane Austen’s stories are two-dimensional romances!) and deeply satisfying endings. Don’t look for happiness here. Tess is given roughly 2 or 3 nights of happiness and the remainder of her life is physical and mental hell. It’s a gruesome story but it sure looks amazing. Most of it is shot with natural light and the costumes and buildings and the countryside are living paintings. Steel yourself. Tess doesn’t deserve any of this but that’s what noir is all about, regardless of what century it is.







(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 šŸ™, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feelingā€¦not that SW score is scientificā€¦but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)


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