Barry Lyndon is Stanley Kubrick's epic costume drama based on William Makepeace Thackeray's beautiful novel. It tells the story of a young rogue who wanders through life getting lost in various adventures, meeting his share of women and oddball characters. When Redmond Barry (Ryan O'Neal) becomes jealous of Captain Quin's advances on Barry's beloved cousin, he challenges the man to a duel. Winning the duel, young Barry is forced to leave his home and his mother. He meets thieves, lonely soldier brides, Prussian army leaders, and British widows, inventing new stories about himself at every turn of the road. Barry Lyndon is lush and magnificent, sparkling with color, every frame reminiscent of the finest European art. The blues of the Prussian army uniforms and the reds of the British contrast sharply with the majestic green land and mountains in nearly every background. Kubrick often begins a shot close in, then zooms out to reveal the beautiful natural landscape and ornate rooms surrounding the now seemingly insignificant characters. With rousing performances from O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Hardy Kruger, and Leonard Rossiter, jaw-dropping camerawork, spectacular natural lighting, and a marvelous classical-music soundtrack painstakingly put together by Kubrick, Barry Lyndon is a dramatic romantic epic that might be Kubrick's most beautiful film to watch.
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