Tess
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In Roman Polanski's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Nastassja Kinski plays Tess, a poor British peasant girl sent to live with her distant and wealthy relatives, the D'Urbervilles. Though Tess' father had hoped that the girl would be permitted a portion of the D'Urberville riches, he is in for a major disappointment: Tess' new housemates are not D'Urbervilles at all, but a social-climbing family that has bought the name. Tess won three Oscars, including a "Best Cinematography" statuette for the late Geoffrey Unsworth and his… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Tess is a sensitive, intelligent screen treatment of a literary masterwork."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Without Mr. Polanski's name in the credits, this lush and scenic Tess could even be mistaken for the work of David Lean."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"This is Kinski's show and she flat out steals it."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"Insufferably long, but very good in parts."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"Polanski is entitled to one monstrously overlong period piece, and in Tess he acquits himself satisfactorily, though the film isn't nearly the equal of its counterparts"
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Tess tells one rather more about its director's much publicised preoccupations than about Hardy's themes."
‑ , Time Out
"een in the context of Roman Polanski's career it becomes something rich and strange, shaded into terror by the naturalistic absurdism that is the basis of Polanski's style."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The film, like its source, is filled with pessimistic fatalism, but it spares no pity for the instruments of fate [...] What, if anything, this meant to Polanski remains unknowable."
‑ Keith Phipps, The Dissolve
"Visually, Tess is a masterpiece, capturing in amazing detail the scenery and atmosphere of the England of yore. The film's chief drawback, however, is its lack of vitality."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Tess conveys the bleak determinism that makes this young woman's life so anguished."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"This is a wonderful film."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Roman Polanski is one of those men who, despite his icky treatment of women in real life, manages to create strong and compelling female characters for the screen."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Unexciting."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Though not one of Polanski's best features, this adaptation of Thomas Hardy's challenging novel, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, is intelligent if flawed, but it's nice to look at due to excellent production values, particularly cinematography."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Gorgeous, sumptuous, and quietly intense masterpiece."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
More reviews for Tess on Rotten Tomatoes