Cinema: Garbled Gabler


Directed and Adapted by TREVOR NUNN

Last year's Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hedda Gabler has been transferred to the screen for reasons that remain mysterious. This is stolid, stilted Ibsen performed by a gallery of waxworks. The movie preserves Glenda Jackson's Hedda for posterity. Posterity has no choice but to accept —but it does not have to be kind.

Jackson's Hedda is nasty and coarse, a kind of anemic succubus. She is choking on her own rage, not fighting against her desperation. There is no sympathy in her. It is impossible to tell why men are so drawn to her. Hedda...

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