I am not going to keep on comparing here, but this film as a film and an adaptation is a mess in my opinion. The book is one of the greatest American novels, and is so interesting and thoughtfully written. The film version of The Scarlet Letter does have exquisite costumes, scenery and cinematography, a lush John Barry score and despite the inconsistent accent and a slight need to over-compensate Gary Oldman is surprisingly credible as Dimmersdale. However, the script is trite and the storytelling is uninteresting, has little heart and has some overly-gratuitous scenes such as the bathing scene. The pace is also uneven, some of it is too quick while other scenes are ponderous and stilted. The direction feels lacking, and you know there's something wrong when Oldman gives the only half-decent performance. I love Edward Hardwicke and Joan Plowright but they have awful dialogue and their characters are not written well at all. Robert Duvall is embarrassing here, and that pained me to say that as he is usually brilliant. Worst of all is Demi Moore, I don't hate Moore as much as some do(I liked her very much in Ghost, A Few Good Men and The Hunchback of Notre Dame) but she is very bland and not very believable at all as Hester. Overall, disappointing and a failure film and adaptation-wise. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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Fails as a film and as an adaptationReviewed byTheLittleSongbirdVote: 3/10
Based very loosely on the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Forbidden love, patience and stout convictions. I really enjoyed this despite the bad reviews. In 1666 Massachusetts a married woman(Demi Moore) falls in love with the young reverend(Gary Oldman)of the colony. Her husband(Robert Duvall)is believed to be part of an Indian massacre on his following arrival to the new world. Duvall's character is actually captured by the Algonquian tribe and forced to live among them. He then vents his wrath on his wife, who is expecting a child from her affair with her lover.
Very good acting and wonderful scenery. I did not mind the two plus hours length of this romantic drama. There is some nudity, just enough to spice things up...but the violence is bloody and harsh. I found this version of THE SCARLET LETTER to be sensuous, interesting and very entertaining. Moore, Oldman and Duvall were excellent. Notable in support are Joan Plowright, Robert Prosky and Edward Hardwicke. This is worth your effort to watch.
Yes, I know everyone and his canary has panned this movie. But I don't get it. I like to think I'm a decent critic and I find what I believe to be disaster and Hollywood stupidity in many popular films (Fish Called Wanda stank, e.g.,) but here, what gorgeous scenery, what evocative music, what a passionate screen play and oh la la, what a love scene. It so evoked a time and place I believe to be early New England that I could just be there. I was there. Wasn't bad either getting to see Gary Oldman play so against type -- and damn well, too. A moving, beautiful love story -- I don't care what I'm supposed to think.