Tuesday, July 17, 2012


A brooding young officer tersely leads his men in the trench warfare during the First Great War while he reflects on a doomed affair he undertook with the Parisian wife of his former employer just before the conflict broke out. "Birdsong" is an adequate television adaptation of Sebastian Faulks novel with beautiful scenery, both of prewar Paris and in the horrific trenches, that bolsters the film during its more laconic moments. Also proving serviceable is star Eddie Redmayne, who made a rather negative impression on me when I first noticed him in last year's "My Week with Marilyn." The greatest flaw with the film is actress Clemence Poesy, whose poor performance as the petulant love interest makes the affair (and these segments of the film) seem hardly worth the trouble. However, the scenes with Redmayne and his boys at battle are sumptuously filmed and raise some interesting points of honor and courage in the face of a futile war.