The Seagull

Certificate 12A

(2018) 98 mins

Director: Michael Mayer
Writers: Stephen Karam, from the play by Anton Chekhov
Cinematography: Matthew J Lloyd
Production Design: Jane Musky
Music: Nico Muhly, Anton Sanko


One summer at a lakeside Russian estate, friends and family gather for a weekend in the countryside. While everyone is caught up in passionately loving someone who loves somebody else, a tragicomedy unfolds about art, fame, human folly, and the eternal desire to live a purposeful life. Aristocratic actress Irina (Annette Bening) pays summer visits to her brother Sorin (Brian Dennehy) and her son Konstantin (Billy Howle). This time she is accompanied by her lover, the successful novelist Boris Trigorin (Corey Stoll).  When Nina (Saoirse Ronan), a free and innocent girl who lives on a neighbouring estate, falls in love with Boris, he basks in her adulation, while Irina is shunned by Konstantin, who loves Nina. Based on Anton Chekhov’s classic play, The Seagull explores, with comedy and melancholy, the obsessive nature of love, the tangled relationships between parents and children, and the transcendent value and psychic toll of art. Thunderbird Releasing

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Mayer’s film is beautifully lit in a manner which adds to the ambience of both internal and external landscapes and to the sense of period. It’s particularly important during the performance of Konstantin’s play, where it adds a sense of the magic of the theatre no less powerful for being presented in cinema (and harking back to a similar scene with Ronan in her breakthrough film Atonement). A number of theatrical flourishes take the story back to its roots and maintain the network of ironies drawn from its subject matter. Magnificently detailed sets and costumes add to the effect. If you never get the chance to see The Seagull on the stage, this is a worthy compromise.”  Eye for Film

There are times when Mayer and Karam can’t give each character their due, even adding characters to increase the pulse of the story. But their version of The Seagull is a whirlwind of fun and romantic drama, made accessible even for those unfamiliar with the script. As play adaptations go, this is one of the good ones.”  The Upcoming

Fri 15 Feb Buckingham
Fri 22 Feb Hilgay
Fri 08 Mar Tisbury
Fri 15 Mar Cheddon & West Monkton
Wed 27 Mar Coton
Fri 26 Apr Chepstow
Sat 27 Apr Niton


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