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TESS OF THE D'URBEVILLES (1998)

Summary

This artful television miniseries is a worthy adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel by the same name. Set in the later part of the 19th century, it relates the compelling and haunting story of a simple country girl. The oldest child in an impoverished family, Tess (Justine Waddell) is sent to live with the D'Urbevilles, whom she is told are her distant, wealthy relatives. The naive Tess is quickly courted and seduced by the young, arrogant and womanizing lord of the House, Alec (Jason Flemyng), whom she does not love. In her distress, she later leaves the estate to return home, without knowing that she is already bearing Alec's child. Tess leaves home a second time and finds work as a dairymaid in a distant place, and finds a short respite from her troubles. There, she meets and falls in love with Angel Clare (Oliver Milburn), the handsome and well-respected son of a clergyman. Unaware of Tess' past, Angel falls in love with Tess, in awe of her virtue, beauty, and grace. Although Angel seems to offer Tess her salvation, her tainted past hovers over her like a curse and threatens her happiness. True to Hardy's fatalistic vision, the miniseries follows Tess' journey from an innocent young woman to a determined mother and a heavy-hearted martyr.

This film is made for television and not rated.


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