New Movies: War & Peace

You will see that this little clicking contraption with the revolving handle will make a revolution in our life . . . It is much better than the heavy, long-drawn-out kind of writing to which we are accustomed . . . The cinema has divined the mystery of motion. And this is greatness.

So said Leo Tolstoy in 1908, when he was 80, peering into the future of an infant art. He might have altered his opinion had he seen this Russian adaptation of his masterwork, War and Peace. It has escaped greatness,...

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