Hello Classic Enthusiasts- We are reading Doctor Zhivago for the month of January and I am excited to announce we will also be watching the film! Please read all details carefully so you understand what is involved and why I am charging a fee (some of which is refundable). The event will take place at my apartment complex called the Uptown in the theater room which can be reserved for twenty guests.
Please note, the start time for this event is 5:30 rather than 6:00. Doctor Zhivago is 197 minutes so we will start a bit earlier and yes, there will be an intermission!
Why am I charging a fee for this event?
The Uptown Apartments require a $250 deposit in order to rent the room in addition to a $20 fee. Therefore I am asking everyone to pay a $14 RSVP fee of which $6 is completely REFUNDABLE if you show up or cancel 36 hours before the event. The $8 fee per person will be used to offset the $20 fee to rent the theater, the movie rental, AND I will be providing snacks (sausage, cheeses, crackers, fruit, etc) and some beverages (water, wine, some non-alcoholic as well). Any remaining dollars will go into a kitty for future events and I will re-adjust the RSVP fee as needed.
I will be sending additional details as we get closer to the date for those of you who will be attending. Please let me know if you have any questions! I hope you can join us! Carissa
Doctor Zhivago is an American 1965 epic drama–romance film directed by David Lean, starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. The film is loosely based on the famous novel of the same name by Boris Pasternak. It has remained popular for decades, and as of 2012 is the eighth highest grossing film of all time in the United States, adjusted for inflation.
The film takes place mostly against a backdrop of World War I, the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War. A narrative framing device, set in the late 1940s to early 1950s, involves KGB Lieutenant General Yevgraf Andreyevich Zhivago (Alec Guinness) searching for the daughter of his half brother, doctor Yuri Andreyevich Zhivago (Omar Sharif), and Larissa ("Lara") Antipova (Julie Christie). Yevgraf believes a young woman, Tonya Komarovskaya (Rita Tushingham) may be his niece, and tells her the story of her father's life.
The film was entered into the 1966 Cannes Film Festival. Despite being a spectacular box office hit, Doctor Zhivago received mixed reviews at the time of its release. It was criticised for its length and overly romantic depiction of the affair between Zhivago and Lara. Film critic Roger Ebert, while liking the film, said of Doctor Zhivago that "it lumbers noisily from nowhere to nowhere", and that Omar Sharif's performance was "soulful but bewildered". In general, the film's critics have found Doctor Zhivago to overly romantic and almost at the level of soap opera, with the (in their view) syrupy Lara's Theme at the top of their complaints. Bosley Crowther of the New York Times said that Zhivago and Lara are "possessed by a strange passivity". Sometimes those same critics who found the length of the film overbearing also found the depiction of historical events too facile. On the plus side, most critics admit that film is really about something; a dramatic period in world history, life over death, the individual against the state, the heart over the mind, and the way good intentions can go terribly wrong. One of the strongest points of Doctor Zhivago are the startling visuals, with Bosley Crowther calling the photography "brilliant, tasteful, and exquisite as any ever put on the screen. Rod Steiger's role as Victor Komarovski is a memorable acting tour de force. The film takes the viewpoint of the dreamy poet Zhivago, the doctor side of Zhivago is rarely in evidence. In the end, Doctor Zhivago probably attempts too much; it's at heart a love story with a political background, and those who want a really deep view of the politics of the period will have to look elsewhere.
The film left an indelible mark on popular culture and fashion, and to this day remains an extremely popular film: Maurice Jarre's score—particularly "Lara's Theme"—became one of the most famous in cinematic history. Over the years, the film's critical reputation has gained in stature, and today Doctor Zhivago is considered to be one of Lean's finest works and is highly critically acclaimed, along with Lawrence of Arabia, Brief Encounter, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and A Passage to India.
As with the novel itself, the film was banned in the Soviet Union. It was not shown in Russia until 1994.
The film won five Academy Awards and was nominated for five more:
- Best Art Direction (John Box, Terence Marsh, Dario Simoni)
- Best Cinematography (Freddie Young)
- Best Adapted Screenplay (Robert Bolt)
- Best Costume Design
- Best Original Score
- Best Picture
- Best Supporting Actor (Tom Courtenay)
- Best Director (David Lean)
- Best Editing
- Best Sound (A. W. Watkins, Franklin Milton)