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S48 Ep18

Uncle Vanya

Premiere: 5/7/2021 | 00:00:31 | Closed Captioning Icon

Tony Award nominee Conor McPherson breathes new life into Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece with his acclaimed adaptation of the drama, portraying life at the turn of the 20th century filled with tumultuous frustration, dark humor and hidden passions.



About the Episode

Great Performances Presents the U.S. Premiere of Tony Award Nominee Conor McPherson’s Adaptation of Uncle Vanya, Friday, May 7 on PBS

Starring Toby Jones and Richard Armitage

Marrying the intimacy of the screen with the electricity of live theater, Great Performances: Uncle Vanya premieres nationwide Friday, May 7 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), and the PBS Video app. Tony Award nominee Conor McPherson breathes new life into Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece with his acclaimed adaptation of the drama, portraying life at the turn of the 20th century filled with tumultuous frustration, dark humor and hidden passions. Recorded in August 2020 from the Harold Pinter Theatre in London after the production’s sold-out run closed early due to the coronavirus pandemic, the play is directed by Ian Rickson and directed for screen by Ross MacGibbon. Starring Toby Jones in the title role and Richard Armitage as Astrov, the cast also features Rosalind Eleazar as Yelena, Aimee Lou Wood as Sonya, Anna Calder Marshall as Nana, Dearbhla Molloy as Mariya, Roger Allam as Serebryakov and Peter Wight as Telegin.

Uncle Vanya begins as Sonya and her Uncle Vanya throw their lives into maintaining the crumbling family estate occasionally visited by the radical and inspiring local doctor Astrov. However, when Sonya’s father, Professor Serebryakov, suddenly returns with his restless, alluring new wife, Yelena, long-hidden truths begin to emerge.

Throughout its more than 40-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details). Great Performances is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET.

Great Performances: Uncle Vanya is a Sonia Friedman Productions and Angelica Films co-production in association with BBC Arts. Producers are Sonia Friedman and Sally Angel; Executive Producer for the BBC is Emma Cahusac. For Great Performances: Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer and David Horn is Executive Producer.

Major funding for Great Performances is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Jody and John Arnhold, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, The Starr Foundation, the Seton Melvin Charitable Trust, the Estate of Worthington Mayo-Smith, Ellen and James S. Marcus, public television viewers and PBS.

Websites:,, @GPerfPBS, #PBSForTheArts


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♪♪♪ -My share of this estate cost me double what it would have cost anybody else, and yet I still have absolutely nothing on paper to show for that!

-Don't look at me like that, I don't like it.

-How else am I supposed to look at you?

-Me and Vanya, two grumpy old men now, fed up with life. -You're not fed up with life.

-Not life, but this!

♪♪♪ [ Pensive instrumental music playing ] ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ -[ Sighs ] ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ [ Scoffs ] -Will you stop walking up and down?

You're making me seasick. -I'm sorry.

-Drink some tea.

-I'm not sure that I can.

-Then be done with it and have a vodka.

-Think I'm that bad? [ Chuckles ] I don't drink every single day, you know!

-Oh, I see. I -- I didn't realize.



-How long have we known each other?

-How long? Too long!

[ Chuckles ] I'm joking.

Well, a long time.

Sonya's mother was still alive, so, uh-- -That's right. -So, what?

Sixteen, 17 years?

-Yes, it must be.

Do you think I've changed?

In that time? -Oh, God yes.

You used to be gorgeous.

Young and dashing -- we were all mad about you.

And now, well, you're older. -Yes.

-You're still handsome, there's no denying that.

We all like that.

But, uh... Also... -What.

-Well, you drink now.

-Yes. -So, uh... -No, it's true.

I am a completely different person, you're right.

-No, you're not a completely different person, but you're a drinker -- but what of it?

Good for you.

So what?

-You know why I drink, don't you?

Because... I am worn out!

The moment I lie down, it's bang-bang-bang on the door and I'm up and out to someone's death bed.

Sometimes 20 miles away.

And the rare nights when no one bangs on the door?

Well, you lie awake anyway in dread of the knock that never comes!

So of course you age and wither and get old.

Who wouldn't? That's what happens.

-But if you could hold your drink, what of it?

-You start to go a bit... wonky -- because you have to.

I mean, look at this beard, Nana -- have you seen it?

-I like it. -No you don't.

-No, I don't. -[ Laughs ] -Not a -- [ Laughter ] -I mean, everybody gets a bit -- [ Groans ] I just never really feel anything anymore, that's what it is.

I never look forward to anything.

-Oh, Doctor!

-Except you, Nana.

I will always love you.

You know, when I was a little boy, I had a lovely nana just like you.

Gave me long, deep hugs.

I used to feel like nothing could harm me.

-You remind me of someone too.

Please, have a drink!



During Lent, earlier this year, I went up to Malitskoe.


-Typhus epidemic.

They'd thrown all of the sick ones into huts, side by side, people on the floor, pigs coming in and out.

Filthy, depressing.

-Mm. -I didn't stop all day, nothing to eat, and by the time I got home I could hardly stand.

Bang-bang-bang on the door, and they carry in this... this boy.

Trainee signalman.

A stock car had sliced off half his foot, so I got him on the table, and quickly gave him the chloroform so that I could... And he -- he just died.

Right there.

And just when you could really do without it, all my feelings came back.

I felt like I had killed him.

They were all looking at me, asking me if he was alright, and I just sat on the... Just closed my eyes.

And all I could think of was, 'Why?'

Why can't it be 100 or 200 years from now?

We'll all be gone!

None of this will matter!

I mean, the people then, will they even remember us?

Have anything good to say about us?

They'll just forget all about us.

-The people may not remember us, but God will.


Well said, Nana.

Yes. -Yes!

[ Groaning ] What were we, um... What were we talking about?

-Typhus. -Ah!


-Good sleep? -Too good.

Horrible black hole in the middle of the day.

You see, this is what's happened to me!

Ever since the professor and his young bride returned they've knocked me right off my beanpole.

I keep taking these stupid catnaps in the middle of the day, which means I wander around awake all night.

I miss all the regular mealtimes, so I stuff my face with snacks, which means I drink too much wine, which means I start onto the liqueurs, which inevitably lead me on to the spirits -- which always knock me sideways.

Suddenly I wake up, I've missed my breakfast, I've missed my lunch, and the whole blasted nightmare starts all over again.

It's no good.

I need to be occupied.

I -- I need to be worn out, because of my -- -Your nervous energy. -Yes!

My energy! It's not nervous.

It's uh. -It's edgy.

-It's a little bit edgy.

But ever since the professor came back, I'm... Well, Sonya's quicker than me, her eyesight's better, so she gets everything done before I even wake up, so I'm -- -You're cast adrift.

-I've been cast adrift.

Haven't I, Nana? -Yes.

The professor never even stirs till noon.

I mean, before he came we always had our lunch at the normal hour of one o'clock in the afternoon, same as everybody else all over the world, didn't we Vanya?

-Yes, Nana.

-You know what time the eats his lunch?

-I don't know. -Go on, guess.

-I don't know. -Six o'clock!

-What? -Six o'clock, six o'clock in the evening! -Six o'clock.

-Six o'clock. -Good Lord.

-Then up he stirs the whole night, reading, writing, working, insists on keeping that poor young girl he's married up with him, 'attending to his needs,' and suddenly then, at three o'clock in the morning, he's ringing the bell... -What bell? -He's brought a bell.

-Yeah, and we're all supposed to come running.

-Everybody's up!


Tea for the professor!'

At three o'clock in the morning!

I ask you.

Nobody gets a moment's rest.

-How long are they staying? -Staying?

They're not staying -- they're moving here!

-To live?

-The university's retired him off!

Took his apartment back.

He can't afford to live in the city.

-Mm. -I mean, do you know how long I've been keeping this hot water on the go now?

Two hours.

'Tea! Tea for the professor!'

he said two hours ago, then up he suddenly announces, 'I'm going for a walk.'

-'A quick walk.' -Quick walk.

-'Quick inspection.' -Quick inspection.

And we're all supposed to just... Enough to give you a pain up the backside.

-Shh! He'll hear you.

Don't give him the satisfaction.

-So I ended up paying twice what I paid for it before I sold it for half what I got it for in the first place!

-And you haven't even seen the new forest yet, Papa.

-Ah, wait till you see up there.

-We can go tomorrow. -Ah, Professor!

Your tea is ready. -Yes.

-My dear friends, I do apologize, but this excursion has inspired some startling new ideas, and I -- I feel I must grasp them while the blood is hot.

Be so kind as to have my tea brought to my study.

Thank you. -Papa, Dr. Astrov's here.

-Of course Professor!

And, uh, anything else?

-I beg your pardon? -I'm sorry?

-What are you asking me?

-No, just, uh... Anything else? Any other refreshments?

A bowl of fruit?

A pair of new slippers?

Something from the village perhaps?

I mean, Nana's here -- she's got nothing better to do.

She could march into town.

-I said just tea. -Ah! 'Course you did.

Thank you professor.

-Uncle Vanya, you have some kind of sauce all over your trousers.

-What? -Sonya?


-Oh, gah... 'I've had some startling new ideas...' [ Scoffs ] It's hot enough to fry a sausage, and the great genius goes about with his overcoat and his gloves on.

So much for the intelligentsia, eh?

-Hm? -I said, so much for the intelligentsia!

-Maybe he knows something we don't.

-[Chuckling] Oh, yeah? Like what?


Oh! Madame professor. -Uncle Vanya.

-Uh... Yes, the, uh... the others have all, um... -[ Derisive chuckle ] -That's her.

That's his wife. -Yes, I know.

-You ever seen a more gorgeous creature?

-Well. -Well what?

-I haven't really had much time to... -Oh, come off it, how much time do you need?

-Hey, Vanya.

Don't mind the professor's young wife.

Look at Marína Timofeevna here.

You should have seen this one in her day, my lads!

-Oh, grow up! -Eh?

Whether I'm riding across the fields or walking into this shady garden, or ju-just looking at the way you lay out a table, Nana, I feel an inexpressible bliss!

Suddenly one is reminded that winter is far, far away.

And shh, listen, shh! Vanya!

-I'm not saying anything! -Do you hear the birds?

[ Silence ] -No. -That's what I mean!

It's such a particular silence!

It's so restful here in this house.

What else could anyone possibly need?

And so much of that is down to you, Nana Timofeevna.

-Eat your biscuit!

-But you -- you, you saw her eyes.

Tell me you saw her eyes.

-Whose? -Young Madame Professor.

Yelena. -I really didn't notice!

-Oh, you're no use.

-Well, Vanya... [ Chuckles ] How are you today?

-What? -Any news?

-Is this some sort of joke, Waffles?

What news could there possibly be?

Everything's the same as ever -- except worse.

-That's not true. -It is, you know!

I sit around getting fatter, and the fatter I get, the more annoyed I am with everyone.

And my mother! Christ.

She's exactly the same.

Still wanging on about women's rights as if they're some kind of alien, abstract concept, rather than something that might actually help improve her own wasted life.

-Where is she?

-Up in -- up in the professor's study!

This is what I'm saying!

She remains completely in thrall to him.

Translating his papers, researching his billions of footnotes.

She'll never change.

Nana, have you offered the doctor a drink?

-Yes. -I'm working.

-Working? Where?

-Here! The professor summoned me.

-Oh, of course!

Well, he -- he's an incorrigible hypochondriac.

We all have to tiptoe around his various ailments while he composes his latest treatise.

'With straining brain and wrinkled brow he works into the night, the only thing that twit produced was when he took a -- ' -Ah! Vanya.

-You know, he's spent 30 years writing papers no one understands, for journals no one ever reads.

Thirty years of utter obscurity, all the while hogging the post of professor from someone who might actually have something to offer.

So not only has he offered the world nothing, he's actually deprived it.

-You sound jealous to me, Vanya.

-Too right, I am jealous!

I mean, could someone please explain his effect on women?

Now, his first wife, my poor late sister, she was so sweet, so intelligent!

She could have had her pick of anyone in the whole world, but no, it had to be him.

And now his second wife, a full 40 years younger than him, beautiful, stunning, clever, you know?

And she's going to... give it all away for that old knobbly croaker?

For what? I mean why?

-She must be in love. -You are joking?

-Is she faithful to him?

-Inexplicably, yes.

-Why inexplicably?

-Well, it makes no sense!

Where's the morality in denying your youth, your vitality?

And pissing it away on some conceited old duffer.

Don't tell me that's moral -- it's -Vanya, please, I hate that language.

Y-your casual manner, disparaging people.

The way I see it, anyone who deceives their wife or their husband is an unreliable person who might just as easily one day betray their country.

-Oh, spare me, Waffles, will you, for God's sake?

-I don't mean to upset you, Vanya, but look at me.

On the day after my wedding, my wife left me.

-Here we go. -Yes.

After just one single solitary night of almost conjugal bliss, she left me in the morning, as soon as the sun peeped up, to go back and be with her old -- her much older, boyfriend.

She said it was purely to do with my physical appearance so there was nothing I could do about it.

However, I have remained faithful to her to this day.

Yes, for over 50 years, I've supported her and every single one of her illegitimate children, as is my duty.


You can still see her, down in the village.

She's a haggard old woman now.

Her beauty has entirely vanished.

Her lover is long dead and what has she left to show for it all, eh?


And look at me.

You see, Vanya?

I still have my pride, hm?

You cannot deny it.

-Good God.


There are some peasants outside on the lawn outside, will you see what they want?

-Uh, y-yes, my dear. -I'll do the tea.

-Tea, Doctor? Please have something?

-Oh, go on then.

-Uncle Vanya?

-Mm? -Tea?

-Uh, nah.

-Hello. -Hello.

-You may or may not be aware, but I've come to see your husband.

-Yes, Doctor, he's been having some -- -You wrote to me last night saying that he was very ill.

-Yes, I'm aware of -- -But now it appears he's been walking all over the estate.

-Well, yesterday he was -- he was terrible, he literally couldn't get up, and now -- -He does know that I live 20 miles from here?

-Well, what can I say? I'm -- -And it's not the first time. -You're here now, Doctor.

Stay -- I don't suppose you've eaten anything?

-Well, I haven't, as a matter of fact.

-Well, then it's settled.

You'll have dinner with us.

We don't dine till after 6:00, so you'll have to stay the night, I'm afraid, but we'll make it perfect for you.

I'm sorry Papa dragged you out.

This tea is cold. -It's alright.

Too hot today anyway. -You see what's happened is... there's been a significant decline in the temperature of the water.

-Oh, is that what you think has happened, Waffles?

Thank you. -Never mind, Ivan Ivanych, we'll drink it -- [ Banging ] -I'm sorry, excuse me, I'm sorry, madam, can I just set one thing straight with you?

It's not Ivan Ivanych, it's Ilya Ilyich.

Ilya Ilyich Telegin -- or as Vanya likes to call me on account of my periodic bouts of acne, 'Waffles' -- because I don't mind answering to this or that or to any of these names, but please call me by something which I recognize as my name.

Thank you.

You may have noticed my name on any of the numerous occasions we have been repeatedly introduced?

You may even perhaps have noticed me dining with you every day, three times a day, because I actually live here, with you, in this house.

Ilya Ilyich. Right?

My... My name is Ilya Ilyich.

Thank you.

I'm sorry about this, I -- I just find it better to clear the air about these things.

-No, nicely handled, Waffles. You tell her.

-My godfather, Ilya Ilyich, he is our rock, our support, and our right hand man.

Isn't that right? -I -- [ Sobbing ] -Yes.

Let me get you something nice.

-Oh, tea, Grandmaman? It's cold, I'm afraid.

-I'm fine, thank you, my dear.

Doctor Astrov!

Oh, no one told me you were here!

How are you?

-Very well, Mariya Vasilievna, all fine.

How are you? -Well, thank you -- ironically: we are busier than ever since the professor retired.

-Yes, Vanya told me!

-Now that he's no longer teaching, he has so much more time to write, so we're never finished -- translating, reading proofs -- we hardly stop for a moment.

Ah! -What's the matter, Grandmaman?

-Oh Sonya -- or Yelena... although, I don't want to disturb him now that he's writing but, oh!

I meant to tell Alexandre -- the professor -- that I received Pavel Alekseevich's new pamphlet today in the post from Kharkov -- my memory, it's really going... -What?

Oh, dear God in heaven, quick, somebody do something!

Alert the professor!

There's a pamphlet in the scullery!

-Yes, yes, sarcasm, of course, Jean, very clever.

The professor has been waiting specifically for this pamphlet.

-It must be very interesting.

-What's very interesting is that Mr. Alekseevich has suddenly more or less refuted all the positions that he's held for the last 20 years!

Which of course has grave implications for the professor's most recent studies, which have only just been published and may well be just as quickly out of date!

-Oh, who cares, Mama!

Really? -What do you mean who cares?

-Just relax, be quiet, drink your tea.

-Don't tell me to be quiet!

I'll talk if I want to!

-There's been too much talk!

And talk and talk.

You've been talking and reading bloody pamphlets for the last 50 years!

And -- and what good has it done anyone, hmm?! -What good has it done?

-Just give it a rest!

That's all I'm saying.

-Oh, that's all you're saying.

You were asleep in that chair over there half an hour ago!

Don't suddenly pipe up and tell me to stop talking.

You show some respect to your mother!

That you would even speak to me like that in front of everyone!

I have no idea what's come over you this past year.

You used to cheer us all up, tell us all to keep going!

Didn't he?

Now all you do is -- is cause fights, upsetting everyone. What's wrong with you?

-Yes, it was always left to me to cheer everybody up and it was bloody exhausting.

Well here it is -- I am 47 -- -Forty-seven? -Yes, I'm 47!

And I-I'm too long in the tooth to go around fooling myself that the professor's pamphlets and all our toiling and working to make sure he can keep churning them out is worth the bloody candle, alright?

-Yes, that's fine, thank you, Uncle Vanya, you've rehearsed these views many times, but we have guests with us now so why don't you just stop -- -And I'll tell you why I never sleep -- it's 'cause I'm so pissed off!

I've been such a fool, wasting my life away!

For what?! -Don't blame your principles for leading you here.

-Principles? -Yes, you shared the very same principles the professor sought to espouse.

-No, I never shared his principles!

I can't believe you'd say that.

-And I sought diligently to bring to a wider audience, and you were happy to help. -What bloody choice did I have?

-It's you who have failed, Jean, because you abandoned your principles.

-Oh, here we go... Go on then.

-Your principles have not failed.

You have failed -- why?

Because you've never done anything.

-I mean, what exactly are his principles, that's what I'd like to know.

-And you criticize me for talking?

That's all you ever were, all talk, and you still are!

-How would one even begin to discern his principles?

-Grandmaman, please... Uncle Vanya, I beg of you please! -[ Coughs ] [ Strumming ] -♪ The hawk flies above the plane ♪ -Just because we can't all be pamphlet regurgitators like Herr Professor up there... -Don't equate laziness with rebelliousness.

You never learnt the difference!

-Because some of us refuse to worship nobodies, when we can see there's no point!

-What do you mean by that? -Just what I say!

I mean what I mean when I say what I say.

-Oh, stop it! -What part of what I say confuses you, hmm? -Stop it, stop it, just both of you, stop it! Stop it!

-I'm not saying anything.

Wh-what did I say, hmm? -[ Screams ] [ Birds cawing ] -Isn't the weather nice?

It's not too hot and it's not too grubby.

-Yes! You know, I was reading in the paper just the other day, apparently this is the perfect weather for slitting your wrists.

Mm, something to do with the science of it.

The, uh... the blood flow.

-Nana? What did the peasants want?

-It's the same as they always want, they want to look through the compost.

Chook? Chook chook chook?

-Which one are you calling? -It's the tawny mommy.

The crows will get her chicks.

Chook chook chook. [ Continues calling hen ] [ Hen squawking ] -Oh, hello!


What are you doing in... -There she is!

-Naughty girl! Oh... Back to your chicks!

Ooh... [ Chuckles ] Come on! Naughty mommy. Naughty mommy mommy.

Chook chook chook.

-I'm sorry, excuse me -- Doctor?

There's a man outside says there's been an accident.

-Where? -Uh, the factory.

-When? -Some time this morning.

They say someone's been crushed.

-Sometime this morning? Right... Thank you.

Right, well, I'll have to -- -Oh Doctor, do come back for dinner won't you? -No, no, it's far too far to the factory, I couldn't possibly keep you all waiting.

[ Sighs ] ♪ How should I go ♪ ♪ When I don't know the way? ♪ [ All join ] ♪ How could I leave ♪ ♪ When you beg me to stay? ♪ ♪ Only Ramesses knows ♪ -I'll tell you what, I will just quickly take a glass of that vodka, if it's still going.

'Course, you know who I'm like now, with this beard?

That chap in Ostrovsky's play.

'I am a man of large moustaches and small abilities!'

-'Who believes in the invisible yet doubts the things he sees...' -I disagree.

I think it makes you look more distinguished.

Older. More distinguished.

Have another before you go?

-Well, it's been nice to have had the honor.

You know, if ever you should feel like an excursion, Sonya knows my place.

I would be truly delighted. -Thank you.

-It's a small enough estate -- 90 acres, but there's an orchard and a large government forest beside me.

And the old chap who's in charge, he's always sick, so it's really me who takes care of it.

Sonya loves it, it's really very nice for a wander, should you feel inclined. -Yes,- Sonya has told me all about it already, and...and how well you look after everything.

I hope it doesn't interfere with your real vocation too much.

-Only God knows our real vocation.

-The forest is your true love.

-Well, it's just so interesting.

It's -- -It's fascinating!

-But I've always heard that it's an older man's work.

You don't look, what, more than 40?

-Oh, thank you!

-Nothing but tree after tree, you don't find it monotonous?

-No, no, in fact, it's the opposite.

-No, no, it's precisely the opposite.

[ Both chuckle ] Well, the doctor plants new spans of forest every single year!

He already has a bronze medal for it -- and a diploma.

You don't mind me saying that?

And he saved the old forest from being destroyed.

We must go, I'll show you, a-and if you listen to what he has to say, in 30 minutes, he will change how you see the world.

-The world no less! -Don't listen to Vanya.

I hadn't realized how much we depend upon the forest.

Do you know the forest actually softens the climate?

-What?! -And when the climate is less severe, humans expend less energy, we become more responsive, we can develop our culture, our languages.

The arts and sciences flourish in temperate climates.

And -- and women especially are treated with more courtesy.

-Courtesy! -It's been shown.

-[ Snoring ] -He's gone.

-It's a lovely idea, Astrov, and I'm glad it makes Sonya so happy, but if you don't mind, I'll continue to make a nice fire with my logs and build my barns out of wood.

-You could burn peat in your stoves and build your barns out of stone.

I mean, of course, chop down a tree here and there if you need to, but why destroy the whole forest?

-I'm not destroying the whole for-- -As we speak, swathes of forest are perishing.

Without their roots, the soil turns to dust and blows away.

Rivers dry up, gone forever, because you're too lazy to pick up fuel from the ground?

-It's not all down to just me!

-We have the unique capacity, alone amongst all creatures, to appreciate the miracle of creation, and what are we doing?

Destroying the lot.

-God, I'm knackered.

-Vanya always gives me that ironic look, like I'm always so bloody serious all the time.

I know I am as cranky as the next fellow.

But there are moments, you know, when I go down past the peasants' wood, or I see a span of forest that I've planted bursting into bloom, and I realize that, well, to some extent, the climate is in my power.

And that, because of some small thing we do, someone 100 years from now will be happier because of it, well that... I'm not joking, that does something to me -- to my... [ Exhales sharply ] Well, If you will do me the honor of allowing me to take my leave.

-When will you come back and see us?

-Oh, God, I don't know.

-Don't leave it another month, promise me that much!

[ Birdsong outdoors ] -And as for you, Ivan... -Oh, so now it's 'Ivan'! -What are we going to do with you?

Hmm? -Do what with me?

-Do you really have to antagonize your poor mother like that?

-She antagonizes me! -And this morning too!

You had a go at poor Alexandre.

He was really upset with you, you know.

-I can't help it if I loathe him.

-Well, what's the point in loathing him?

He's only as bad as anyone else, and certainly no worse than you!

-You're one to talk!

Don't think I can't notice the sheer effort it takes you just to live from moment to moment.

-Oh, yes, yes, the effort and the boredom!

Since when is it any of your business?

-Well -- -No, and don't pretend it's because you have sympathy for me.

-Of course I have sympathy for you.

-I heard you, Vanya, you have no pity for the woods or the forest or... women, or for anyone else.

-I'm not sure that's quite what I said, but anyway, where's all this philosophizing coming from everybody all of a sudden?! -That doctor, he had such an exhausted look on his face.

-Look at me! I'm exhausted!

-Yes, but he has an interesting face.

-Thanks. -[ Chuckles ] And Sonya is clearly mad about him.

I can understand it. -Of course you can.

-You know, he's visited three times since I've been here.

-But who's counting? -And I - [ Chuckles ] I've always been too intimidated to speak with him.

Never even said hello or been nice to him.

And now Sonya says he thinks I'm moody.

-I wonder why.

[ Both chuckle ] -You do know why you and I get on so well, don't you?

-Because you like me? -No... because we're the most tedious, boring people on the whole estate.

We are!


Don't look at me like that, I don't like it.

-How else am I supposed to look at you?

I love you. -Oh, stop it.

-Y-you're the only thing on earth that makes me happy, makes me feel like I was ever young, makes me appreciate my life. [ Doorbell ringing ] [ Woman shouts indistinctly ] I know the chances of you feeling the same way are practically zero, but -- but let me look at you, just let me listen to your voice.

-Vanya. Vanya, your mother is coming.

Will you stop it?! -Just let me sit here next to you and I'll be the happiest person -- -No, God, no, leave me alone! You're driving me mad!

♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ -Where is everybody? -Go back asleep.

-I wasn't asleep!

Was I?

Well, Vanya!

-What? -How are you today?

Any news?

♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ -[ Groans ] Oh, no, no, no... -Alexandre?

Alexandre, you're dreaming... -No! No!

-You're dreaming! You're dreaming.

Hey? -God!

[ Groans ] I'm frozen.

-Your rug has fallen off.

-[ Groaning ] Ah, Sonya. -It's not Sonya, it's me.

-Oh, Lénochka!

Forgive me.

I'm sorry.

The pain's back.

-I'll shut the window.

-No, no, it's -- it's fine, can't catch my breath.

I... [ Labored breathing ] I fell asleep, I -- Didn't even realize.

I dreamt this wasn't my leg, that -- that it belonged to... someone else.

It's agonizing. -It's your gout, Alexandre.

-No, it can't be gout! It must be something else!

My God, the pain... What -- what time is it?


Did you find the volume of Batyúshkov I asked you for?

-What? -Can you find me the volume of Batyúshkov I asked you about?

Why can't I... It's as though I can't get a breath.

-You need sleep.

You got none last night, now this tonight.

-It's these new ideas I have.

If I don't get them up and running, they'll be gone.

-And what of it?

You're retired, take your time.

Accept it.

-But you can't turn your brain off.

You're in a race against the bloody clock.

You... You know Turgenev suffered a heart attack because of his gout?

Because of the pain?

And just, bang!

I mean, that's what could... I daren't even look in the mirror any more.

I see my father scowling back at me from his deathbed.

He had a horrible death.

And what's worse is you're so fully aware of how revolting people find you.

They leave you in no doubt.

-Oh, now it's my fault. -Oh, no... it's -- it's nothing... I'm speaking objectively, Lénochka, it's nothing personal.

You're young, you're healthy; you want to live, and why shouldn't you?

But I have a feeling it won't be long now.


Did you hear what I said?

-Yes, alright!

Please just stop.

-Stop what? -What do you want?

What? Stop hounding me!

-Hounding you? Oh, well, of course.

I've completely worn you out, haven't I?

It would be perfectly understandable, if you wanted to just... I mean. -Oh, yes?

And go where?

With what? -Mm.

-Let's just be quiet, alright?

-You know what's really funny?

When Vanya starts to talk, or his mother speaks, everyone is scrupulously attentive to their drivel.

I so much as say two words and suddenly everyone wants to kill themselves.

You lose the right to exist. That's... That's the -- -No.

No one is denying you your rights.

No one is disputing your rights.

-[ Groans ] You spend your whole life growing and learning, developing your expertise, and then, suddenly, that's it -- [ Snaps fingers ] You're old!

You're from the past, and the past is gone.

You end up... living in a kind of tomb.

And I still want to live.

I can't help it.

I want to publish great works.

I want to be successful!

What's wrong with that?

This was a huge mistake, you know?

Coming out here.

There's nothing here!

It's like being dead, only you're not even allowed to be.

It's... -Yes.

Well, time is killing me just as certainly as you.


You asked for the doctor.

He's waited for hours.

I can't believe you'd do this again.

-What doctor? -Dr. Astrov, who else?

-Ugh! He's so bloody conceited!

-Well, what do you want?

Because we can't send for the medical faculty of St. Petersburg every time you get pins and needles!

Just let him have a look!

-No, I can't stand him!


Well, I'm not telling him -- you can tell him yourself.

-Where are my glasses?


What -- what time is it?

-Past midnight. -[ Groans ] Sonya, bring me my drops from the table.

-No, not those ones! Those are my morning ones!

I'll be up all bloody night! -Alright!

No need to be rude!

Perhaps other people pander to that behavior, but you can spare me I have to be up in three hours for the hay making.

-I'm not so sure about that.

There's a storm brewing.

In case anyone wants to know.

[ Thunder rumbling ] Yelena, Sonya, go to sleep, I am here to relieve you.

-No, no, don't leave me with him!

He'll talk me to death! -I won't say a word!

-No, Vanya, I can't, I'm not in good form.

I don't want an argument. -We must give them some rest!

Come on, me old banana.

Be reasonable, me old sausage.

-No, I'm asking you, Vanya.

In the name of our former friendship, don't antagonize me.

-Our friendship! 'Our former...' -I know what you're doing.

I know what's going to happen.

So, please, I'm too tired.

-This is almost funny, isn't it?

It's -- it's almost funny?

-Oh, yes, all still up, everybody everywhere.

-Nana, go to bed, it's so late. -Nothing's cleared away... How can I go to bed?

-I've kept everyone up again.

Everybody is worn out, I know, I know.

-We love you!

What are you talking about?

Don't start behaving like an old twit!

-You see? -Right, Vanya, go to bed.

-I've only just got up! I want to help!

-Shh, shh, shh, -Shhh! Shhh!

-All the geese go cack, cack, cack, cack, cack, cack.

-Cack, cack, cack.

-Day and night, day and night.

Oh, come on now.


Mmm... Don't mind them, Professor.

Old people are like children -- we want people to feel sorry for us but nobody feels sorry for us.

You, uh -- you come with me.

I'll make us lime flower tea and I'll rub your feet, and say a little prayer to God for you... Come, oh, come on.

-I fancy a walk in that.


No? [ Chuckles ] -Vera!

She used to worry all the time about your legs.

She would sit in here and cry with me.

Do you remember?

And, Sonya, you would sit with us too, but you -- you wouldn't understand.

You remember.



Here. -What?

-Take it.

-It's your watch.

-I know.

-My sister gave it to you.

-I want you to have it.


-What was a lovely thing to do.

You come along with Nana. Come.

Ooh. Come along.

-Soon the rain will pass and everything will be clean.

Everything will breathe again.

Well, I'll -- I'll still be stuck here.

Day, night, wha-what's -- what's the difference, hmm?

It's all the same to me now -- now that I've wasted my life.

Wasted my love in all the wrong places.

It's like the sun shining down a deep, dark hole.

Utterly pointless.

-Vanya, you know what happens every time you start talking to me about love?

-No -- tell me.

-I feel completely dead.

-Well, that's not good!


I never know what to say to you.


-Yelena, do you know what kills me?

Shall I tell you?

I don't care if my life amounts to nothing; it makes no difference to... to anyone -- but -- but to watch you wasting your life!

-Vanya, you're drunk. -So what?! -Oh, God, please, get off me!

Go and find the doctor!

Where is he?

-In my room. -Drinking?

-Oh, excellent!

And what good does drinking do either of you?

Hmm? -Kills the days.

-Oh, wonderful!

You were so much nicer when you never drank.

You never went around so sad as you do now.

It wears us all out.

-Yelena! -What?

-You don't even know how wonderful you are.

-Vanya, I've asked you to stop.

You're doing it on purpose now.

♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ -This is nothing.

Our conversations always end like this.

♪♪♪ I met her 10 years ago, when she was 17 and I was only 37.

I should have proposed to her then.

She probably would have said yes -- she wouldn't have known any better.

She'd be my wife now.

Storm would wake her up, and she'd come looking for me.

I'd take her in my arms and say, 'Shh, I'm here.

It's only a storm.'

♪♪♪ These are the kinds of thoughts that swirl around my head incessantly now that I'm old.

She doesn't understand a word I'm saying.

She gets into these long-winded arguments, lecturing me, as if I'm somehow to blame for all the dreadful things in her world.

Her husband... the professor.

I worked like an ox to keep him going, to keep his money coming in.

We've squeezed everything out of this estate, me and Sonya.

Vegetable oil, dried peas -- well, you name it, we sold it.

We kept nothing for ourselves.

We were proud of his position, you see?

Made us all feel like somebody.

We lived and breathed for him, to tell you the truth.

And now?

Here he is, back, not a penny to his name.

And not one page of anything he's ever written is read by anyone.

He's nothing!

A... A soap bubble.

[ Pop! ] I was cheated out of my life for For nothing!

And the funny thing is... I always thought I was cleverer than him!

[ Thunder rumbling ] -Oh, just play something for God's sake!

-Shh! People are asleep!

If you promise to keep your voice down, I'll play very quietly.

-He won't play!

-I'm not really able to play well, you know.

-What are you always carrying that bloody thing around with you for then? -It was my father's.

It's an affectation really. -Bloody hell.

Well then, affect to play something.

[ Strumming ] You all alone, Vanya?

No ladies?

-♪ No bed for the master ♪ -Yes!

-♪ No moon in the sky ♪ -That's -- that's all right.

-♪ Oh, my love, won't you open the door? ♪ ♪ Your mother is sleeping, the lamb's in the fold ♪ -[ Gargling ] -♪ And the mountains do call ♪ ♪ To the clouds ♪ -Come on!

♪ No bed for the master, no moon in the sky ♪ ♪ Oh, my love, won't you open the door? ♪ [ All singing loudly ] ♪ No bed for the master ♪ ♪ And the mountains do call to the clouds ♪ [ Laughter, whooping ] [ Thunder rumbling, rain pattering ] -Oh! I had almost fallen asleep!

Bloody rain woke me up!

[ Howling ] Aah! Aah!

What time is it?

-The devil knows.

-I thought I heard Yelena's voice?

-She's gone. -Oh.

I've seen what you mean, by the way.

-About what.

-Her eyes!

[ Laughing, whooping ] Right!



Prescriptions from everywhere -- Kharkov, Moscow... Do you think the professor's putting it on?

-No, no, no, he's sick.

-What has got you so miserable today?

-Nothing. -It's such sweet torture, mm?

To love another man's wife.

-We're not in love! We're friends.

-Friends? Already?

-What? -Well... A woman can only become a man's friend in this order: first, acquaintance; second, lovers; and only after that, friends!

-You're such a bloody... vulgarian!

[ Plucking guitar ] -That's true... when I drink.

Because then all of you -- all my friends, all my patients -- appear to me as mere insignificant insects, mere microbes.

Waffles, play something else for Christ's sake!

-We're gonna wake the whole house.

-Oh, just play something! -You will be quiet?

-Yes! I promise!

Vanya. -What.

-There's no brandy left.

When dawn breaks I say we head over to my place.

You can stay with me, Vanya.

I've got this new medical assistant, who brews his own spirits.

Phew...! He never says 'alright.'

He can only say, 'Awight?'

He's a total reprobate!

They say he killed someone in a card game.

'Awight?' he says, as he leads me astray... 'Awight!' I say, and I'm very far from 'awight.'

Awight?! -Awight, awight.

-Where is he going? Vanya, where you going?

-♪ Awight, awight ♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah!

A-- -Oh!

-Excuse me; I appear to have forgotten my -- -Awight?




-Drunk with the doctor again.

You're like two sad old tramps... It's horrible.

The hay's been cut.

Nothing's been baled, the whole lot is getting soaked in the storm.

And you're in here.

You leave me to do everything!

Why are crying?

-No, just... You look so like your mother.

My poor sister!

Where is she now? Huh?


If only she knew.

-Knew what?

-I don't know.

[ Sniffling ] [ Sniffing deeply ] -Were you looking for me? -Oh!

Don't let my uncle drink anymore.

-I give you my word.

[ Snorts ] There's nothing drink!

I'm going home now anyway.

-It's raining! Wait till it's bright.

W-we can have breakfast.

-Th-the storm's going right over.

And please don't ask me to come and visit your father anymore.

I tell him it's gout, he says it's rheumatism.

I ask him to lie down; he gets up and goes hiking.

Today he wouldn't even speak to me.

-He's just spoiled.

Would you like something to eat?

-Yes, I would, actually.

-Nighttime snacks are my favorite.

There's usually something in here.

My father has always had great success with women; his whole life, and they've all spoiled him.

Look, cheese.


[ Contented sigh ] -God. -I really -- Sorry. -No, I just realized, I haven't eaten anything for two days.

You know... there's no one here that I can speak frankly with, Sonya?

You're the only one.

Your Uncle Vanya -- he's depressed, you know.

Your father... Your grandmother -- God, your stepmother too!

I don't know how you do it.

I would suffocate.

-What about my stepmother? -Hmm?

-You said my stepmother. Yelena.


Oh don't get me wrong.

She's beautiful.


But everything about a person should be beautiful, not just the face.

Their... their thoughts, their soul should be beautiful.

I mean, she is beautiful.

She is, but Jesus, all she does is eat and sleep.

She takes no responsibility for anything, and that's -- -What? -Oh... Maybe I'm being too severe.

Who am I to judge a creature like that?

-No. -Ah, I'm just getting old.

Me and Vanya.

Two grumpy old men now, fed up with life.

-You're not fed up with life. -Not but... -- horrible, provincial... Ugh!


I absolutely despise this kind of life.

-But your personal life.

-[ Chuckling ] My personal life?

Oh, God knows there's nothing to speak of there.

You know how, if ever you've been lost in the woods at night, and you suddenly see a light in the distance, and you strike out for it, and you don't notice or you don't care about the prickly branches in your face, you just go straight towards it?

That's how it is for me, working -- I work and work and work and I get stabbed by all the... But there's no light anymore.

I never expect anything really -- for myself I mean.

-And is there no one... -Well, there's the peasants.

They're all afraid of me.

And... Well, the supposed intelligentsia -- I don't bother with them any more.

They all sidle up behind you and they say, 'Oh, he's a bit strange, isn't he?

He's a vegetarian.

He's always in the forest.'

And they -- they don't know what to call you, so they just label you some bloody psychopath!

-No, please.

No more. -What's wrong?

-It really doesn't suit you, you know.

You normally have such a lovely, gentle voice.

You're not like anyone else I've ever met.

-Oh, Sonya -- -You know what I mean.

You're not like ordinary men, who go about drinking and playing cards.

You hate to see people destroying things, and yet you destroy yourself.

I'm asking you not to.

-I will never drink again.

-Are you giving me your word on that?

-My word of honor.

-Alright! -Alright!

-Well, thank you! -Well that's it!

I'm...sober now.

And that is the way I will stay until I die.

Although it's probably too late for me now.

I've worked myself too hard.

No feelings.

No... I lost a patient, Sonya.

During lent.

Died under the chloroform.


-You know what the funny thing is?

I... -Yes?

-I'll... -Mikhail?

-Say if I had a friend... or a younger sister, and say that -- say that... you found out that she was in love with you.

Well, what would you... What I mean is, would you do -- -I wouldn't do anything.

I'd just tell her that I -- I couldn't... love her, you know.

I can't even think straight any more.

I'm going to go.

Come here.

Thanks for the grub... [ Sonya laughs ] And the hospitality and... You are such a lovely girl, Sonya.


You are!

What? -Nothing.



-Thank you, alright?

Just... Thank you.

That's all.

Right, I'm going to go out this way, because if I run into your Uncle Vanya, I will never get home. -Wait.

[ Chuckles ] -Good night.

♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ -He gives me nothing.

He never does.

But I'm so happy every time I see him!

♪♪♪ Ugh... Oh, I said, 'You're so intelligent, you have such a nice voice.'

What must he think!

'If I had a sister who liked you...' Ugh!


What an idiot!

And of course when he talks about love he immediately mentions Yelena.

Of course.

Last Sunday, coming out of the church, I was behind these two old women who didn't know I was there.

'Did you see Sonya Alexandrovna,' they said.

'Oh, she's a nice girl, but it's such a pity about her face.'

-Where's the doctor?

-He's gone. -Oh.

-Sonya. -Mm?

-How much longer do you plan to be like this with me for?

-Like what? -Like this... this way -- -I'm not being any way with you.

What way? -All right, it -- It doesn't matter, I just want us to make up.

-That's what I want!


Thank God!

-So, is Papa asleep? -No.

Of course he's not, he's in his room.

He's not speaking to me now, so... Who's this for? -Mikhail.

The doctor.

He hadn't eaten all day.

-Why don't we have some wine?


-Drink a toast to each other... Share a glass.

Right, you go.

-I have been trying to make it up with you, you know.

I just felt too ashamed somehow.

-Hey! No, that's alright! Don't cry!

-No, it's fine, it's just me. -Oh, no.

Now I'm crying!

Oh, God!

[ Both chuckle ] I know why you're angry with me.

It's perfectly understandable.

You think I married your father so I that could get ahead.

-No! No.

-No, no, no, it's alright, it's what everybody thinks.

But I swear to God, I married him because I loved him.

And of course I was attracted to him because he was famous and re-- respected -- of course, all of that -- and, yes, I thought that was love.

I mean, now I know, but at the time I thought it was -- real love.

So please don't blame me! -Aw.

-No, you've given me that punishing look since the day we got married.

-Let's just forget about it. -No, no, you really shouldn't give people that look, Sonya, you have no idea how crushing it is if you don't think someone believes you, it's actually impossible to live actually.

-I'm sorry. I want to be friends.

But honestly, are you happy?

-Of course I'm not happy!

-Would you be happier, do you think, if your husband was younger?

-Of course I would! Don't be so bloody naive!

Go on; ask me anything.

Anything you like.

-Alright... [ Yelena groans ] Do you like the doctor? -The doctor?

That's where we're going is it?

Yes, very much.

And I know how much you do.

-Oh, I have that stupid look on my face, do I?

Oh, I get it whenever he's here.

And when he's gone, I can still hear him!

I can smell him!

I stare out into the night and I can see him standing there, plain as day!

You don't think anyone can hear, do you?

-No, no. -We could go to my room.

-Here. -This is really embarrassing!

So, what do you think of him, then?

Tell me something. -What can I tell you?

-Well, you see how clever he is.

All the things he can do -- there's nothing he can't do!

He works with his hands, he heals people.

And the forest. -Well that's because he's -- It doesn't matter what he does, whether it's the forest or medicine or... He has talent. He has insight.

-Yes! -His mind is free to imagine.

-That's right. -So that when he -- when he plants a sapling, he already visualizes a fully-grown tree, and he understands what that means to someone's future happiness.

-I know.

-God, can you imagine how horrible his life must be?

He has all that potential and how does he spend his day?

Trudging through impassable mud on the road, vast distances in blizzards, arriving too late to help some poor doomed soul in some shed somewhere.

God, no wonder he drinks!

He's had 30 years of it!

-I know.

-I'd love to see you happy... See you both happy. [ Laughing ] I've given up on it for myself.

-You?! -I'm just a... footnote at the end of your father's life.

And there are no happy endings down in the footnotes, just optional details, like... Why are you smiling?

-I'm sorry, it's just the doctor!

-I'm sorry!

-Come here.

Oh, I would love to play something.

-Oh, do.

Do! Please do! -Should I?

-Oh, we're never going to go to sleep now!

Play something! -Okay.

Well, just ask your father if it's alright, will you?

Music always gets on his nerves when he's sick.

-He won't mind. -No, no -- ask him.

Just to be sure.

[ Playing softly ] ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ -He says no.

♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ -Sonya.

Sonya. -Mm?

-What's the time?

-Four minutes since the last time you asked me.

A quarter to one.

-Fifteen minutes till we hear why the distinguished professor has instructed us all to gather in the drawing room.

He has something he wishes to announce to the world at one o'clock.

-Something about his business affairs.

-Business affairs? What business affairs?

-Uncle! -What?

[ Yelena playing softly ] Look at her!

She's practically falling off that piano stool.

Someone should paint her and call it, 'Lazy Afternoon.'

'A Lazy Lady's Life.'

[ Vanya chuckles, Yelena continues playing ] 'Lady...with a life that's lazy, playing the piano on a Sunday after-- -Oh, shut up, Vanya!

It's your bloody voice droning on and on.

How can I help it?

I'm surprised you don't talk yourself to sleep.

God, I'm actually dying of boredom!

I can feel it in here!

What the hell is one supposed to do with oneself around here?

There's nothing! -I could find you plenty to do.

-Like what? -There's a million things that need doing! -Oh, yes, farm work!

-Or teaching?

Children for miles around here can't read or write, you know?

-No, thank you.

-Help the old people, the sick people.

Uncle Vanya and I used to always enjoy going to the market to sell flour!

That's something we could. -Sell flour?

I don't know how to do any of that.

Only people in books go out and teach beggars how to read and feed the sick peasants.

Do you really think that's me?

-It could be you!

You haven't even tried.

I bet children would love you.

Don't lose heart... Yelena!

I know it's hard.

You don't know what to do, but look -- we're all doing it to each other.

It's contagious!

Uncle Vanya here has all but retired, it seems.

And I'm no better -- here's me hiding in with both of you, avoiding work, looking for idle chat.

And even the doctor, he's practically abandoned his practice.

We used to be lucky to see him once a month, now he's here every day -- and forests be damned.

I think you've put a spell on him, actually.

-Me? -Absolutely -- she's right.

You know, I have a feeling you have mermaid blood in your veins.

You lure sailors onto the rocks.

And we're all drowning in your waters.

So why don't you let yourself go!

For once in your life! -Oh, shut up, Vanya!

-Let yourself go, huh?! Let yourself go!

For once in your life!

Huh? Let yourself go!

Let yourself go!

-I know what you're thinking.


-In a world full of ugliness, why did God choose me to be so handsome?

-That's exactly what I was thinking.

It's because you deserve it, you deserve to be handsome.

-Ah, I can't help it.

-[ Gasps ] We should have a ball here!

Proper dancing, proper music!

-And invite who exactly? -Well I don't know!

Someone interesting!

-Hey, hey, hey -- watch it. -What?

-You'll look at me once too often like that.

-Like what? -Look at me like that.

-[ Scoffs ] -And... I was only joking.

You're not a mermaid at all!

You're a giant squid.

And as a token of peace and harmony I shall bring you the last roses from the garden.

Sad roses... Autumn roses.

-'Sad roses, autumn roses.'

-I heard that!

-September already.

How are we going to live through a whole winter here?

Where's the doctor? -He's in Uncle Vanya's room, working on his maps.

I need to ask you something. -What about?

-What about? What about?

You know what about. -I know.

-I'm so ugly.

-You are not ugly! -I am.

-Of course you're not!

You have lovely hair, such expressive eyes -- -Lovely hair?! -Such beaut-- -'Nice teeth'! People only say that kind of thing to women who aren't... You know I've been in love with the doctor for six years?

More than I ever loved my own mother.

I can hear his voice, I feel his hands squeezing mine, every time I look at the door I expect him to come in.

And when he actually arrives it's like he doesn't even see me.

I pray every night for some change, and then the next day I go up to him, and I look into his eyes, and we start talking but... I mean... I hate myself!

-Stop it... -No!

Last Sunday even Uncle Vanya took me aside to ask me what was wrong.

I said, 'I have a cold, I'll be alright.'

But everyone knows.

Well, they must know. -So must know?

The doctor.

-I don't think he's ever noticed.

-Well, he's an unusual man.

[ Both chuckle softly ] Look, let me speak with him.

No, no, no, no, no. I'll be careful.

I won't -- I won't say anything.

But I'll find out.

He won't even notice I'm doing it.

But we have to know, yes or no, and if it's a no... he'll have to stop coming here.

And it'll be easier then, not seeing him every day, hm?

Go and get him.

He wanted to show me some chart or map or something -- tell him it suits me now.

-You'll tell me exactly what he says?

-The whole truth, whatever it is.

It's got to be better than the uncertainty you live with now.

-Yes. Yes!

I'll-- I'll tell him you want to see his charts.

But sometimes uncertainty and -- and -- and not knowing something... that can be better than -- -Really?



I'll get him!

-[ Sighs ] She tells me her deepest secret, but there's nothing I can do.

And there's no one in the world that can help.

Because he simply isn't in love with her.

I mean, you could say, 'Well, why doesn't he just bloody marry her anyway?

At his age, he'd be lucky to have Sonya!'

She's bright, she's...she's clever, she's good at the accounts, she hasn't a bad bone in her body.

But it's not about any of that, is it?

She just... She just wants him to love her.

And you know, I can see it.

You know, from her point of view, living here, surrounded by all these gray blobs with all their pointless breakfasts and -- and sleepwalking and napping, and into this arrives someone so different, and so alert and alive, and... So handsome... And interesting, and attractive.

It's like waking to find the moon rising in your bedroom window.

Of course you'd lose yourself in him!

It's even happened to me!

...a little.

it's perfectly understandable.

It's so boring when he's gone.

You can't help smiling a little at the thought of his return.

He's... He's funny.

He says different things, unexpected things.

Who wouldn't find that attractive?

Uncle Vanya says I have mermaid blood in my veins.

'Let yourself go for once in your life!'

Maybe I should.

Fly away from all these sleepy faces and forget I was ever here.

But of course, I'm far too much of a coward for that.

♪♪♪ The doctor comes here every day now.

I know why he comes.

I should have fallen to my knees in front of Sonya just now and begged for her forgiveness.

I know why he comes.

Sad roses.

Autumn roses.

-Hello. -Hello.

Y-you promised you'd show me.

-I'm no artist. -No, no, I-I'd like to see.

-Alright, well, you've been warned.

Where were you born? -Petersburg.

-You studied there? -Yes -- music.

-At the conservatoire? -Yes.

-Well, that's impressive.

I doubt any of this will be that interesting for you.

-Oh, no, it's just, I know so little about really living in the country.

I mean, I've read so many books, I love Turgenev but I've never actually... Well, the reality's a little more... -Real? -Yes!

-Vanya lets me work here.

I keep all my gear in his room, and when I get exhausted -- I mean on the point of total collapse -- I throw everything in a bag, and come out here and work on these.

Vanya and Sonya, they're so good, they indulge me.

-Aw... -They click away, counting on their abacuses, doing their accounts, and I sharpen my pencils and we all sit in silence together and I do these.

I always feel so warm... and content... It's a simple pleasure really, I don't do it often, maybe once a month.

The mapping.

-It's beautiful.

-So anyway, this represents the whole area.

This is us here.

-Where? -Right here.

See? -Oh, yes, there we are.

-So, the dark green and the light green, forest.

W-- just -- half of this map is forest.

And anywhere you see these different colored lines, there were wild elk, horses, wild cats.

-Oh! -Oh, not very big.

But bears, antelope, exotic birds, this whole cosmos of creatures.

-Really? -Oh, yes.

And these crosses, here?

These are the old hamlets and villages, small farmsteads, and right here, well, that's where all the heretics used to gather, practice the old religion.

They're all gone now.

So, blue lines here, horned cattle, wild horses.

This is all 100 years ago, right?

We are looking at the past here.

Now, look -- this is... 25 years ago, and two thirds of the forest is gone.

No wild goats. Some elk.

Very little blue at all here.

But I'll keep going, because this... This is the present, this is now.

I mean, there's some green.

Not much.

All of the elk have disappeared, no swans now, no grouse.

All of the old settlements are gone, no farms, no monasteries, no mills.

In other words this is a picture of steady, irreversible decline.

Ten more years, and... the destruction will be complete.

You say, 'Well, that's progress, nothing stays the same.

No point wanging on about the good old days.'

And yes, that's fine, if in place of the ruined forests we were seeing decent roads, with schools and better educated, healthier people, but look!

There's nothing of the sort!

It's swamps, mosquitoes, mud tracks, typhus, diphtheria -- the same old back-breaking struggle for existence, stagnation and decay.

Who can take responsibility for anything when they're sick and hungry?

If you're trying to save your child from pain and cold you will snatch at anything that might keep you warm for a few hours, not realizing that you're destroying this very habitat that sustains us all, because, well, you can't think about the future -- who has time for that?

That is a luxury!

Ah, I can see from your face that I've alarmed you.

That's not -- -Oh no, no, it's -- It's not that -- I mean, it's obviously terrible, and it's just... My mind is -- -Of course, I -- -No, no, no I wanted to ask you about something and I'm finding it difficult to know where to begin.

-Ask me about what?

-No, i-it's really harmless, sit down.

No, actu-- No, you don't have to sit down.

It's not that... Look, I -- I know this young person, and... Look, I'm just going to be really honest with you and like two friends we can have this chat, alright?

And then we just forget we ever spoke about it.

Alright? -Alright.

-This matter concerns my stepdaughter Sonya.

Do you like her? Yes or no?

-Of course I do.

-No, of course, but... but do you like her... as a woman?

-What do you mean, 'as a woman'? -You haven't noticed anything, over time?

-No! Should I?

-Alright. You don't love Sonya.

Listen, she is in agony about this.

So it would be better if you stopped coming by... so often, it's -- it's much.

-Are you serious?

Bloody hell!

Look, my days for all that carry on are over.

And anyway, even if they weren't, I wouldn't be able to... Where would I find the time for all that?

-Oh, my God, this is such an unpleasant and embarrassing conversation!

Thank God it's over. Now let's -- let's forget it.

The weight has lifted, and you should go.

You're an intelligent person.

I know you understand -- -No, no, I understand -- -This is so uncomfortable. -It's just, you know... If you'd have said all of this to me a month or two ago, things were... Well, I mean, I probably could have given it some thought.

But things have... I mean... Why do -What do you mean? -I mean, why now?

-I don't -- -You think you're being clever.

-No, I don't!

-All right, all right, suppose Sonya is suffering because of me, what is that to you?

-How can you ask me that?! -Look, I am too old, I have seen too much -- you can't pretend you don't know.

-Doctor, I asked you here because -- -No, I beg myself not to return, yet here I am, every day, I am hardly ever at home, I've given up everything else.

So please don't pretend it doesn't give you any satisfaction to see me like this.

-Of course, we all like to see you, Doctor!

What do you mean, 'see you like this'? -Like this! Like some... helpless animal lost in the woods at night.

But the fox knows exactly where I am, doesn't she?

-What fox? -You!

And there it is.

There's nothing more I can say.

But then you knew that before I stepped in the room, before you sent for me.

-I didn't for you! -Yes, you did.

-Oh, my God, you're out of your mind!

-And suddenly now you're shy.

-No, no, I'm not shy, I'm just not what you take me for.

-It's alright, it's alright, I am leaving and I won't come back here -- but, please... tell me where we can meet -- before somebody comes, just tell me -- you know I'm mad about you.

-Listen -- listen, I swear, I didn't ask you here.

-No no, don't swear. There's no need to swear, God!

Look at you. -That's enough now, that's enough, you've forgotten yourself.

-Yes, I know -- now tell me where we can meet.

You know it's inevitable. We must see each other.

-No, Doctor, no, Doctor, I'm beg-- I'm begging you, please, no... no, you have to go. -Yes.

Tomorrow. Two o'clock.

Say yes.

Say you'll come.

-Oh, my goodn... -It's alright.

It's... -Ivan... How are you today?

You know, this weather is nowhere near as bad as it should be.

It was overcast this morning and I thought, 'Oh! We'll have rain!' But look -- the sun is shining!

A perfect autumn day, the crops will be in great nick!

The only trouble is the days are getting shorter.

And there is nothing we can do about that.

-Vanya, promise me that you will do everything that you can to make sure that myself and my husband leave here today.

[ Indistinct voices approach ] Do you hear me, Vanya?

Please tell me that you'll help me, I have to leave here today!

Oh, my... -I myself am not feeling well either, your Excellency.

I haven't been well for three days.

My head, my tummy. -Where the hell is everyone?

[ Ringing ] I hate this house.

It's like a damned maze.

Twenty-six rooms, anyone wanders off, you don't see them for days!

Someone ask Mariya Vasilievna and Yelena Andreevna to come in.

-I'm here. -Oh, good.

Right then, everyone, please, sit down.

-What did he say?

-I'll tell you later. -It wasn't good.

He's not coming any more -- that's it, isn't it?

-One can always come to terms with ill health, but you want to know what'll really kill you?


I feel like I've fallen out of the bottom of the earth and landed on some alien planet.

Sit down, everyone, please!


Sonya! Can't she hear me?


Nana, you too!


Ladies and gentlemen... Friends, Romans, Russians, lend me your ears. Ha!

What's that from, Waffles?

-What? -What's that from?

-What's what from? -I'm assuming you probably won't need me, so I'll -- -No, no!

On the contrary, Ivan Petrovich, this concerns you.

Please sit.

-What business of yours could possibly concern me?

-Vanya, I've offended you in some way... Have I annoyed you somehow?

If I have, please forgive me.

-No, just stop being so bloody condescending.

What do you want?

-Sorry, sorry.

-And at last, here is I shall begin.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have invited you all here today in order to inform you that the Government Inspector is coming to visit us.

-The government inspector! -That's a joke.

Look, Nana! It's a joke!

Nana, sit down!

However, joking aside, I've gathered you all here today to ask for your help and advice, and knowing as I do your customary kindness, I hope that I may receive it.

I am a man of learning, of books, I've always been a stranger to the practical life.

I can't survive without advice from people in the know, and so I ask you, Ivan Petrovich, and you too, Ilya Ilyich, and you, for your views on this.

The fact is, that is, one night awaits us all.

I'm old... and sick.

I need to put my affairs regarding my property in order.

I'm not thinking of myself, my life is already over, but I have a young wife and an unmarried daughter.

I must think of them.

Alright, here it is.

It has become impossible for me to continue living in the country.

I was not created for the country.

I can't work here.

I'm blocked up and I -- -I have always said this! -I just can't.

-I know. -You need the movement and bustle of the city. -I know.

-The salons and the intrigue and the gossip.

That's who you are! -I know, You know me better than I know myself.

-Without that you're abso-- -I know!

And there it is!

But to live in the city on the means that we receive from this estate is impossible.

So, what to do?

If, for example, we sold the forest, we get a lump sum, we live in the city for a year on the proceeds -- for a year or two.

But once it's sold, it's gone, and the money's gone.

So we need, therefore, to seek out measures that will provide us with a constant, eternal, and fixed income going forward and for the rest of our lives.

I have therefore devised just such a measure and I have the honor to submit it for your consideration.

I'm not going to bamboozle you with financial detail, I'll just spell it out in general.

Our estate yields no more than two percent per annum.

If, however, we liquidate our assets -- i.e., the whole estate -- and convert it into cash, hm?

Which can then be converted into stocks and shares -- i.e., plowed into the stock exchange, I mean, really forcefully, really rammed in there -- according to my calculations we will easily receive four or even five percent per annum!

Notwithstanding a lump sum of some thousand rubles, which I would retain in order to purchase a modest villa in Finland, simply so that I may continue my work there in the holidays -- and to which of course you would all be most welcome to visit.

I hope that goes without saying.

Now, what do you think?

-Wait a minute... I think my -- my hearing must be failing.

Can you repeat what you just said?

-Convert the money into stocks and shares and with the excess remaining buy a villa in Finland.

-No, not the bit about Finland, I got that.

There was -- there was something else you said?

-Well, it's quite simple, Vanya -- I propose to sell the estate. -That's the bit!

Sell the estate, excellent!

What a brilliant idea.

And what would you have me, my mother, Nana, and -- and Sonya here do with ourselves?

-Well, that's what we're all here to discuss!

What do you suppose I'm doing here?

-Right, but, um, no, bear with me a moment because up until now, I -- I was under the impression that this estate belonged to Sonya.

My late father bought it as a dowry for my sister, Vera.

Therefore, under the law, this estate passed to her daughter, Sonya.

-Yes, 'under the law,' if you want to be pedantic about it, of course -- the estate belongs to Sonya.

No one is disputing that. -Right.

-I'm proposing that this is done for Sonya's benefit!

-Right, because I'm -- I'm struggling to understand this -- although in fairness I must admit I may have lost my reason some time ago.

-Jean, please, don't contradict Alexandre.

Who else among us has his learning?

See, who else can know what's best for us?

If that's what the professor decides, it's settled.

-We need to be practical.

-I need a drink of water.

-Getting agitated won't help anyone, Vanya.

I'm not saying my plan is ideal.

I wish we didn't have to do it.

If there's a unanimous objection, I -- I may be obliged to reconsider, but that's what we need to ascertain!

-Right. -Your Excellency, I think I might be of some assistance here.

My brother Grigory Ilyich's wife's brother, perhaps you know him -- Konstantin Trofimovich Lakedemonov?

H-he holds a Master's degree from Tubingen.

The question of unanimity is one he holds in great regard.

You are absolutely correct -- -Hold on a minute, Waffles, because we're discussing business now -- the philosophy can wait.

Actually no, here, ask him.

Because he'll tell you, this estate was bought from his uncle.

-Ask him what? -Well, because he'll tell you -- the estate was bought for 95,000 rubles.

My father paid only 70,000 down, with a remaining debt of 25,000.

The only way that this estate could only be afforded was if I renounced my inheritance.

-This is correct -- -So I signed away my share in favor of my late sister -- your first wife -- whom I passionately loved.

Alright? To make it all possible.

And what's more, I then -- stupidly -- worked like a dog for the next 20 years to pay off the debt -- so in actuality my share of this estate cost me double what it would have cost anybody else, and yet I still have absolutely nothing on paper to show for that! Nothing!

And you propose to sell it out from under me?! -I regret that I started this discussion -- -The only reason that this estate is free of debt is because of my personal efforts.

I'm the only reason it's actually worth selling at all!

Except now that I'm too old to do anything about it, I'm gonna get thrown out on my ear!

-Is this just willful misunderstanding, or what are you saying?

-I'm saying that for 25 years, I have managed this estate, I've sent you more money than any land agent would have, and I've raised your daughter for you -- in your absence.

And in all that time you haven't ever once thanked me.

-Will you stop this now! -And!

And in all that time, and even now, I never received more than 200 rubles a year!

Two hundred rubles! A year!

Children in the city get more pocket money than that!

And it -- and it never crossed your mind to add so much as a ruble more.

-Vanya, for Christ's sake! How was I to know?

You could have had more if you wanted, as much as you'd need!

I would never have known!

-Oh, you mean why didn't I steal the money?

Why didn't I have the initiative to pilfer the account?

Well, I realize that's what I should have done!

That would have been the right thing to do, because then I wouldn't be a beggar now facing the street! -Jean!

-No one is facing the street.

-Vanya, my old pal, don't do this to yourself.

Everything can be discussed.

Oh! Look, my hand's shaking too.

Let's all have a cup of tea we can all discuss the Professor's plans.

-Twenty-five years stuck in here, like a rat running round a pipe, still living with my mother, never going anywhere. -This is irrelevant!

-Blue in the face telling Sonya what a great man you are, how frightfully busy you must be.

With your books and your works and your fame!

All those nights we should have been resting or meeting people or -- or -- or being sociable, just having some time on our own -- well, we wasted them away. God!

God, when I think of it!

-Don't Vanya, don't. It's not worth it.

-I don't understand what it is you want!

-But we'd all been duped, hadn't we?

That you were some form of higher being who understood more than we could ever see.

Well my eyes have been opened a long time now, mate!

I see it all! -Oh, yes, of course you do.

-Yes, I do! -And what is it, pray tell, that you see -- what great insight have you to impart to the world?

-Oh, it's very simple.

You lecture everybody about art, about politics, about life, about people, but you don't have the faintest understanding about art or real people, the way real people think and feel and need to be loved!

All those years, I -- I struggled to read your essays, thinking I was stupid 'cause I couldn't make sense of them.

Well, I realize now, you were just having us on!

-This is pointless.

There's no point in talking to him like this.

I'll be in my room. -No, no.

No, you don't get away that easily.

-You've ruined to my life!

Don't you understand that? You've destroyed me!

-What in God's name do you want from me, man?! What do you want me to do about your life?! What life?! You think this estate is yours -- why don't you just take it, have it.

You think I need it?

I'll be gone in a few years!

I have no need of it!

-What are you talking about?! It's not even yours to give me!

-Right, I am leaving! Right now!

Do you hear me? I can't do this!

-Oh, Lénochka! -Stop it, both of you!

-If I'd just gone on and lived a normal life, continued with my writing, I -- I -- I could have been another Dostoevsky.

Another Schopenhauer!

-Oh yes, of course. -Mama!

Mama, what am I going to do?

-You will listen to the professor.

We all live under sufferance.

I'm not going to beg.

-Mariya, listen.

No one has to beg for anything.

This is a proposal, it's a discussion.

-Yes, I know what it is.

Please Vanya.

Some decorum.

-Decorum? -Decorum.

Yes, decorum!

To think you had the good fortune to be born a man!

A human being with agency and respect, and what have you done with it?

Sweet damn all!

What I wouldn't have done with that freedom!

The time to pull up your boots and fight for your rights was long before this.

That day is long passed!

So you -- you choose to blame everybody else.

But you're too vain to even see that.

So don't ask me what to do; I don't know.

I have no i-- [ Sobbing ] -No, no, it's alright.

I know what to do.

I know what it is.

You think you can... just forget about me, don't you?

Wash your hands of all of us and be gone.

That's what you think, isn't it?

-'Another Schopenhauer!'

That's all we need!

I hear him, you know, every night -- I'm in the room right below him -- shouting in his sleep!

I offered him, 'Move into a room in the village!

I'll pay for it.'

Move into one of the barns,' I said to him.

'We'll fix it up.'

But, oh, no, it's not good enough.

Nothing's good enough!

So that's it. I'm moving out.

It's done, it's settled. -Yes.

We have to pack. We have to do it now.

-Papa, please!

You don't understand!

Uncle Vanya... and me too... it's just that we're just both... I suppose it's just that neither of us have ever had... -I can't help it if the man's a non-entity, Sonya!

I didn't force him to achieve nothing!

He managed that all by himself!

-But Papa, Uncle Vanya... and, and... Grandmaman -- and me too -- we -- we copied out your papers for you, we -- we translated them for you, we-- we corrected them.

-No one needed to correct them!

-W-well, then, we annotated them, we -- we -- we bound them for publication.

-I could've asked anyone to do that!

Why didn't you just -- -No!

No -- as soon as our estate work was complete, all of us, we were -- we were -- we were straight back in here!

We wanted to!

And the -- the papers, they were -- they were were all over the floor!

And I'm not saying this very well, but I'm asking you to be compassionate.

-Compassionate?! -Yes, show some compassion!

-Don't tell me I don't have compassion, Sonya!

It's too late!

We have to be practical!

No one ever wants to face the truth in this house.

That's the -- -Alexandre, for God's sake, go and explain it to him.

-I've explained it! Jesus!

Someone else needs to explain it to him!

Sonya, you -- you do realize I'm doing this for you too?! You realize that, don't you?! You tell him!

It's too late!

Unless we all want to putrefy together in this tomb!

Is that what he wants?

Is that what you want for yourself, Sonya?


-Don't make Sonya do it!

Go to Vanya!

go to him?! -Yes, you!

Who else?! Just do it!

Talk with him! -Alright, don't get upset!

I'll explain it again.

Anyone thinks it'll help... I'll go to him. -Let him calm down.

Be kind and understanding, Alexandre.

-I've been understanding.

That's the problem, I've been too understanding!

-Don't mind them, my little chook.

The geese go cack cack cack.

Nobody minds.

So they stop.

They stop.

Look, your hands are shaking.

Oh, you feel as though you've been out in the cold!

[ Blowing ] Some lime flower tea... raspberry tea... everything will be right as rain.

[ Sobbing ] My poor little orphan girl.

God is merciful.

All will be well, hmm?

[ Indistinct shouting ] -Oh listen to them, the silly geese.

[ Gunshot, screaming ] -Vanya! Vanya, please! -Leave me alone!

[ Gunshot, screaming ] [ Empty chamber clicks ] -Vanya, please!

[ Screaming ] -To hell with you!

To hell with you all!

-Take me away from here!

Take me away or kill me, but I can't stay here!



What am I gonna do?

[ Scattered sobbing ] ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ -Where are they? -No -- nearly done.

-We're going to miss our chance to say goodbye!

-I said we've nearly finished.

Hold still.

-Apparently they're headed for Kharkov Kharkov, of all places! -They must be desperate.

-They are!

I heard her -- Yelena -- shouting in their room.

Said she wouldn't stay here a minute longer.

'Send for our things later!' She said.

-What things?


-It just wasn't meant to be, their living here.

It wasn't predestined.

Or...or else it --- no, it predestined, but this is what was predestined, not that.

-What are you talking about?

-I can't stop talking when I'm upset.

You know that.

-It's better for everyone!

He starts too many fights, that one -- the professor.

It's an absolute disgrace!

And that is all. -Kharkov!

I hate Kharkov!

And the people! It's like the living dead!

-Well, it's good enough for them.

And we can go back to the old ways, Ilya Ilyich -- breakfast at six, lunch at noon, and in the evening we'll sit down for a light supper.

Everything in its proper order again, the way normal people live -- like Christians live! [ Both chuckle ] Oh, it's far too long since we had noodles.

-Ah... Noodles!

Now you're talking!

[ Stifled sob ] -What's the matter? -Huh?

-What's that look for?

-Oh it's nothing, I... I was just remembering something the shopkeeper in the village said to me this morning. -Mm-hmm?

-I-I had forgotten my wallet.

He was so 'You always were a sponger,' he said.

-What?! -Yeah, he said we were all spongers up here, living off the work of others.

Said we should all be thrown out.

It really hurt me the way he said it.

-I hope you put him in his place!

-I was too embarrassed, to tell you the truth.

Nobody came to my defense, so I just left.

-What an ignorant pig!

We're all living off God's charity anyway.

Shopkeepers most of all!

How dare he?! None of us here has lived an idle life.

Sonya never stops.

Vanya has almost killed himself with work.

And you... Uh, where is Sonya?

-The last I saw, she was with the doctor, looking for Vanya.

-Tell me, what did you do with the pistol?


I broke it up.

I stashed it in the cellar.

It never happened, alright? -No, of course!

It's unbelievable!

-Vanya! -Just leave me alone!

-Vanya! -Out. Out!

-Yeah, a-alright, we're going! We're going!

-Chook chook chook chook chook!

-I've asked you to leave me alone.

-Listen, nothing would give me more pleasure.

I'm not even supposed to be here!

But you have something belonging to me, and if you think -- -I don't have anything of yours!

-Vanya, I am keeping my temper, I can't be here.

D'you understand me?

Now, give me back what you took and I'll be gone.

-I don't have it -- whatever you think I have, I don't have it. -Right then, I am going nowhere.

If you force me to, I will have to take it from you I mean physically. -Alright.

-No, I mean it, I will tie you up and I will search you.

-Do what you want. -You think I'm joking?

-I've been such a fool!

If I'd hit him it wouldn't be so bad.

But to miss him from three feet away?! Twice! -You'd have had better luck shooting yourself.

-What's worse is no one does anything about it!

No one attempts to arrest me, they... They think I'm just sick in my head, that I'm... I-I'm pitiful.

I saw you with her -- in your arms. -That's right!

And you know what I have to say to you about that?

[ Blows raspberry ] -Mother Earth must be mad, sustaining the pair of you?! -Again I say -- [ Blows raspberry ] Anyway, don't flatter yourself!

Nobody thinks you're mad!

Everybody just thinks you're an idiot.

One who's been fatally starved of love.

In other words you are completely normal.

-This is worse than any physical pain.

The shame.

What am I going to do now?! I mean... What the hell can I do?! -There is nothing you can do.

-Don't say that -- Christ, I'm 47 years old!

If I live till I'm sixty, that's another twelve years.

-Thirteen. -...thirteen years!

How am I going to live through 13 years of this?

How do you fill up 13 years?

If only you could just... wake up... some clear, tranquil morning, a-and everything -- your whole past -- was forgotten, and you could start to lead a new life.

-Oh, come on, Vanya!

What new life?

You don't get a new life.

Old codgers like you and me, we are stuck here -- now.

is our life.

Our situation is hopeless.

-Don't say that! -I'm only telling you the truth.

-Will you give me something for my head, it's going like a train! -I said stop it, Vanya!

-Right, okay. -No, no, no, no.

-Listen to me, listen to me, listen, listen.

In 100 or 200 years -- this what I always think about -- I think about the people, 100 years from now, they'll have figured it all out.

And they'll be looking back on us and they'll say, how sad it is to think that all these people were so unhappy.

But you and me, right now, this is what we have to hope for.

Are you listening?

When you and I, and Ilya Ilyich, and Nana... and your mum... when we're all slumbering in our graves, we will be visited by such pleasant visions, we won't even realize we're dreaming!

How nice that will be, eh?

You see, you and me, we are the only two intelligent people who have ever lived around here.

That's half our trouble!

And I really feel that, in these last, what, 10 years or so?

We've let this horrible, provincial, small, stupid life out here really get in on us.

And it's killed us... in a way.

But hey, look at me.

Don't start distracting me with all this yak-yak-yak -- give me back what you took.

-I haven't. -Vanya... You have taken a whole bottle of morphine from my bag.

Now, if you really want to do yourself in, walk out into the forest and put a bullet in your brain, but don't do it with my medicine.

They'll think I gave it to you and I'll be struck off.

It's enough that I'll have to do your post mortem without it being my last job.

-I don't have it! I swear to God!

-Sonya... I was supposed to have been gone hours ago but your uncle Vanya has taken a bottle of morphine from my bag -- now, it's already getting dark; please, will you ask him to give it back to me?

-Give it back this minute!

Why would you frighten us like that?! Come on!

I'm at least as unhappy as you!

Probably even more so!

And I'm not giving up.

I'll endure it -- to the bitter end.

And I'm not doing it on my own, so you better hang on with me... or I'll kill you!

Uncle Vanya.

For me.

Please give it back.

-You'll give me something to do, Sonya?


You'll keep me busy.

-I promise.

As soon as everybody has gone, we'll sit down to work, just the two of us, same always, alright?

Oh, we have an absolute ton of invoices -- on every account.

We've never let it pile up like this in our whole lives!

-Right, well, I'd better -- -Vanya.

We're leaving.

Alexandre wants to see you before we go.

-Oh, God. -Oh, do go, Vanya.

Make your peace with him.

Come on!

I'll go with you.

-Christ! What a day!

-Right, well, I'm -- I'm leaving, so -- -Don't go. -No, no, you promised!

you promised you'd leave. -Don't -- I know. No, I know!

I am! Leaving now.

Please... don't take fright!

Is it really so terrible... To be loved?


-Stay -- one more day.

See me tomorrow. -No.

-Come to the forest. -No, no!

It's already been decided.

But I will ask you one thing.

Please think better of me than you do.

I am more than what you take me for and I would like you to respect me.

-Respect you?

How can I respect you?

You have no aim in life!

You do absolutely nothing to occupy your attention.

So, it may not be today or tomorrow, but sooner or later you will have to give in to this feeling!

It's inevitable.

Better that you give in to it here, in the bosom of nature -- God, don't live to regret everything in a dump like Kharkov!

Out here, we have the forest!

All these quaint, old, run-down estates; out here at least we can dream we are in a Turgenev novel... -Oh, stop it, stop it, stop being so absurd!

God, you make me so angry, Dr. Astrov!

But all the same, I will remember you.

You are an interesting and original person.

And we'll never see each other again, so why bother keeping it a secret?

I was -- I was actually quite smitten with you... for a time.

So there we are.

Let's shake hands and part as friends, and remember me kindly, alright?

-You know, it's so strange.

I look at you and I see a well-intentioned, warm-hearted person, but everywhere you go, you wreak havoc!

-No, I don't! -Yes, you do!

You don't mean to, but no sooner do you arrive than everyone who was working here, busy with something, creating something, everybody abandons everything to attend to you and your husband and your various dissatisfactions.

-Oh, please. -Yes! Both of you.

You have infected everybody with your idleness... Including me!

I haven't done a damn thing this whole month.

People are sick!

The peasants have let their animals graze on my land; everything that I've planted has been destroyed... -Well, that's hardly my fault... Doctor!

-You know, part of me wonders, if you had stayed here, how long it would be before our... devastation was total.

Oh, I'd be finished within a few months.

Well there it is.

'Our revels now are ended.'

-I want to take something to remember you by, Doctor.

May I?

-This pencil -- is this the one that you use?

-Yes. -It's so strange, isn't it?

Just as we come to know each other, suddenly we must never see each other again.

-It's the way with everything. -Mm.

Will you allow me to kiss you?

Before Uncle Vanya comes?

Just to say goodbye?

Is that alright?

Can I?

-Yeah, I wish you all the best.

[ Sobbing ] -There you are. Right.

-Thank you.


Look, it's been decided -- we will all put all of this behind us.

It's been a stressful time and a stressful day.

I've been turning it all over in my mind and no doubt, it's inspired me!

I feel a paper coming on, Mariya Vasilievna!

A kind of guide as to how one should live one's life.

-How wonderful.

-I've accepted Vanya's apologies.

And I... I ask you to forgive me too.

There it is, alright?

[ Applauding ] -So we'll just go back to the way it was?

I-I'll send you the same as before, alright?

And we'll -- -Goodbye.

-Alright? -Maman... -I mean, is that -- -Oh, Alexandre, um... have your photograph taken in the city -- I want to see you both looking fine and urbane and... You make sure he does now.


What are we going to do?

-Oh, Maman.

It's all for the best.

-G-goodbye your Excellency.

Don't forget us, alright?

-Listen... I thank you all for the pleasure of your company.

I do respect your way of thinking and, uh, your enthusiasms and your energy for things, but permit an old man one parting word before he goes.

We must, all of us, ladies and gentlemen; we must be practical and face up to the practicalities.


My best wishes to you all.

-I'll probably never see you again now.

Please forgive me.

-Vanya, I -- -Lénochka!

-[ Groans ] -Dear sweet Vanya... -I'll tell you what, Waffles, you couldn't bring my stuff around could you?

-Of course.

-You're not going out to see them off?

-Oh. No, no.

I-I can't.

I-I just need to... I just need something to do.

-Well that's it.

They're gone.

Professor's relieved I'd say.

[ Mimics gunshot, chuckles ] You won't see him back here for a very long time, I shouldn't think -- if ever.

-They've gone.

-They're gone.


Uncle Vanya?

That's it.

There we are.


Thank you, Nana.

So where were we?

-January, February.

-It feels like forever since we sat here together.

Look, there's no ink!

♪♪♪ -They've gone.


First thing, Vanya, we can start by writing out... these ones.

We got a letter from the factor this morning asking us for our invoices.

I can't believe none of these have been sent.

Can you see?

[ Chuckles softly ] Let's start here, you do the one, I'll do another, and so on.

-'Account in the name of Mister...' -I feel really sad now they're gone.

You know?

-I'm ready for the hills.

-Pens scratching in the silence.

The crickets are singing.

All is warm and cozy.

[ Chuckles ] I just don't want to leave!

Right, well... All that's left is to... say goodbye.

Goodbye table.

Goodbye friends.

-Why are you always fussing about?


Just sit down!

-I can't. I have an obligation.

-'Which leaves an outstanding balance of two rubles, 75 kopeks...' -Doctor. -Ah! Yes, that's -- -Let me give you a hand with this.

-Oh, thank you.

No! No, no. I don't want to bend those.

-Oh, I -- -I keep them rolled up.

It keeps them flat. -Oh, I see, I wasn't thinking.

Sorry about that. -No, I'm sorry.

It's just, you know, works in progress.

-Well, I'll -- I'll leave that to you, then.

-Thank you, Waffles.

Right, well -- -When will we see you again?

-I imagine it won't be until next summer now.

It's hardly possible in the winter, though of course, if there's an emergency or if you should need me, then just -- just let me know, and I'll... I'll come.

Thanks for the...meals and the hospitality and... Well, thanks for everything.

Cheerio, Nana. -You're going without any tea?

-No, I don't want any, Nana, really.

-A drop of vodka, then?

For the long road ahead. -Oh, well... Maybe. -I knew, you see.

-My old horse, Belka, back at the stable at home.

She's gone lame.

-Oh, no.

Poor old Belka. -Mm.

Not sure what I'll do with her now.

-Why don't you bring her to the smith at Rozhdéstvennoe?

-Yes. I'll have to.

See what he says.

Can't be helped.

Can you imagine the heat in Africa right now?


-What? -The heat in Africa.

Right this minute.

-What about it?

-It must be absolutely unbearable.




Your good health.

[ Coughs ] -Eat something, -No, I couldn't. That'll do me.

Don't see me out. There's no need.

Maria Vasilievna.



-I'm -- I'll -- -Alright?



-'February the 2nd.

Lenten oil, 20 funts, buckwheat meal...' -He's gone.


-'Which -- Which leaves 15 rubles, 25 kopeks.'

-[ Sniffles ] -Oh, my goodness.

-Oh, Sonya.

I just feel so completely -- -[ Sighs ] [ Guitar playing softly ] I know.

♪♪♪ What can we do?

♪♪♪ We have to live.

♪♪♪ We have days and days and days ahead of us.

♪♪♪ Endless evenings.

♪♪♪ And we will bear it all with good grace.

♪♪♪ We'll do our work and we'll support everyone who relies on us.

♪♪♪ We'll do it now and we'll continue to do it till we're old, and we'll accept our time of dying and afterwards we'll say, yes, we suffered, yes, there were times we wept, times we could hardly keep going.

♪♪♪ And God will smile on us.

♪♪♪ And you and I will see, Uncle Vanya, we'll see that life is beautiful and radiant and dignified.

♪♪♪ And we'll look back on these unhappy moments and we'll feel nothing but compassion and we'll smile and we'll take our rest.

♪♪♪ I believe that, Vanya.

I do!

♪♪♪ We'll hear the angels.

♪♪♪ The whole sky will be full of diamonds and we'll see all the evil in the world, and all the pain, and all the suffering, all engulfed by the mercy that's going to fill up the whole world.

♪♪♪ And our lives will be as sweet and gentle as a caress.

♪♪♪ I believe it.

I do.

[ Crying ] ♪♪♪ And I know, Uncle Vanya, I know that you have yet to see happiness in this life.

♪♪♪ I know.

♪♪♪ Oh, but just you wait.

♪♪♪ You'll see.

We'll rest.

♪♪♪ We'll rest.

♪♪♪ We will rest.

♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪


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