Format: DVD from NetFlix on laptop.
A while ago, I commented on just how good 1935 was for Charles Laughton; the man was in three movies nominated for Best Picture, one of which won. That’s a hell of a good year. Yul Brynner had a good year in 1956. He walked away with an Oscar for The King and I and acted across from Ingrid Bergman in her Oscar-winning performance in Anastasia. Okay, I’ll admit that I’m prone to like Yul Brynner in general. I’m not sure if it’s the bald head, the piercing stare, or the Mongolian-tinged accent, but I’ll watch him in just about anything.
Anastasia is epic in everything but length in the sense that this is massive, sweeping story about history and romance with any number of plot twists. And like many an epic, this is a story deeply involved in Russian history. It seems impossible to touch on any aspect of Russian history without the story becoming something massive, at least in tone and scope. Anastasia tells one of the great myths of Russian history post-revolution. It’s well known that the family of Tsar Nicholas II was killed by the Bolsheviks, but there was also the story that the tsar’s daughter Anastasia somehow survived the slaughter. What then would happen if Anastasia Nicolaevna had survived?