Roman Polanski’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles scales the novel down to a distillation of the jealousies and anxieties that Hardy played on a larger scale. But Hardy’s judgment about the morality of his time remains central to the manner that Polanski and his co-writers set the plot into motion; the movie commingles innocence, ambition, and tragedy in skillful and haunting ways. A glowing Nastassja Kinski stars as Tess, a farm girl whose discovery of nobility in her family line opens a Pandora’s box of incidents, starting with her father’s reaction to the news, that sends Tess on the road to her eventual ruin as she’s introduced to her new family. Hardy’s theme—that family may not be destiny, but recognition of that family most assuredly is— evoked such subtle work on Tess from Polanski that the film garnered the filmmaker a Best Director Oscar nomination—only the second of his career. The film won three Oscars, including a win for cinematography (director of photography Geoffrey Unsworth also shot Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and died during the production of Polanski's film).
Bing Theater | Frequently Asked Questions (PDF | 72kb)
$7 for LACMA members, students with valid ID, and seniors (62+); $10 for the general public | Members of these four groups can purchase tickets starting at 5 pm on Thursday, December 27 | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online
$5 for Film Independent, LACMA Film Club, and The New York Times Film Club members | Members of these three groups can purchase tickets starting at 5 pm on Tuesday, December 18 | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online