The Maids of Wilko | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

The Maids of Wilko

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

Adapted from a short story by Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, Andrzej Wajda's bittersweet Chekhovian tale about a household of five sisters and the man they love unspools with all the languid grace of its landed gentry. Wiktor, who manages a monastery, pays a visit to the Wilko estate after an absence of 15 years; he's been scarred by his battle experiences in World War I and by his affair with a sixth sister, who committed suicide over him. His unexpected social call stirs up yearnings and memories among the surviving siblings, each of whom represents a different aspect of femininity, and Wajda paints their various relationships with light strokes, hinting at the thwarted desire and simmering anger behind their upper-crust decorum. The sense of loss and regret in this 1979 feature often recalls Bergman, though Wajda's meticulous re-creation of the milieu--exquisitely shot by Edward Klosinski with mostly natural light--also calls to mind Stanley Kubrick's neglected historical drama Barry Lyndon. Daniel Olbrychski (a Wajda regular who starred in Ashes) delivers a fine performance as the glum, reticent Wiktor, who's chastened by the consequences of his indecisiveness. 111 min. Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Thursday, December 14, 6:30, 773-281-4114.

--Ted Shen

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment