Barry Lyndon

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A visually ravishing drama, filled to bursting with ornate imagery reminiscent of paintings from the story’s 18th century period, Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel depicts the rise and fall of a sensitive rogue in the British aristocracy. Notable for Kubrick’s painstaking evocation of 18th century life, including the justifiably famous nighttime scenes illuminated only by candlelight, Barry Lyndon is a must-see on the big screen. 1970s heartthrob Ryan O’Neal (following up on the success of Love Story and Paper Moon) gives one of his best performances as the callow striver Redmond Barry, a reluctant conscript in the British army after leaving his Irish home in disgrace. On the frontlines on the continent, events lead first to Barry’s desertion, then his re-enlistment on the victorious Prussian side; our not-so-noble antihero then continues to try his luck in a series of palace intrigues, high-stakes gambling escapades and the coldhearted seduction of noblewoman Marisa Berenson. Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography, Art Direction, Costumes and Music, Kubrick’s often breathtaking exploration of Thackeray’s complicated adventurer is the nearest the great director ever came to realizing his longtime cinematic dream of bringing the life of Napoleon Bonaparte to the silver screen. (Dir. by Stanley Kubrick, 1975, USA/UK, 184 mins., Rated PG) Digital