Hedda (1975)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Feminist Film, Marriage Drama  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - UK  |  
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Considering the talent involved, Hedda should have been an unforgettable cinematic experience. Director Trevor Nunn is one of the world's leading theatrical directors, and his ability to make the classics seem fresh and new onstage has been demonstrated time and again. Certainly, he has cast this Hedda with an excellent team of actors who know their way around Ibsen. And there are moments when the screen really does blaze with fire and lightning. Unfortunately, there are also moments that come across as rather ponderous and artifical, when Ibsen's carefully constructed plot seems a trifle mechanical, as well as moments when the motivations of the characters just don't seem real. Nunn is also not as comfortable with the camera as is desired, resulting in some stiff or awkwardly staged scenes. Despite this, he does capture Glenda Jackson's frightening Hedda, a performance that causes shivers (as well as the occasional wince); if Jackson goes too far on occasion, she's never less than thrilling -- and never less than totally committed to her interpretation. She's very ably supported by Patrick Stewart and Peter Eyre, who not only manage to keep from being blown off the screen by Jackson but manage to score several points on her. Hedda is less perfectly realized than one might wish, but when it hits its stride, it produces considerable electricity.