"Onegin" is the directorial debut of Martha Fiennes, Ralph's brother. Incidentally (a family affair, I suppose), Ralph stars as the title character of Eugene Onegin, a philanderer quite dried up in his steeper years.(It's pronounced ohn-nay-gin, no to mistakenly be rhymed with the ditty "Poor Old Mister Finnegin (…Begin Again.") So dry, in fact, that he turns down the love offered to him by Tatyana (Liv Tyler), a young and sexy vixen living on the neighboring estate Onegin has just come into possession of after the death of his uncle.
"Onegin" is gorgeously shot by Remi Adefaraisn, who captures the color and texture with ease. Ms. Fiennes debut is auspicious, if not a little overly ambitious, but in general, the material she chooses is plotted very nicely in a non-convention that keeps you wanting more. She laces her film with an alluring, intriguing aura. Mr. Fiennes and Tyler are perfectly put to match, and where Fiennes has previously proven himself in such period pieces, he continues to hold his ground. Tyler, who isn't so proven in such a piece, lends herself a credibility and certain formidability; she's quite impressive and very stunning and elegant to watch. Consequently, the last act of the movie suffers from a relinquishing of the satisfying pace to a much more testudineous one. It knocks the wind out of the rest by not being up to par; it's a serious detraction. More than once it begins to stray and flounder, but despite the flaws (even with it being more evident with them being near the end), "Onegin" is an achievement in certain regards, and enough to bolster it commendable.Final Verdict: B-.