YMMV / Doctor Zhivago

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Komarovsky. Is he a monster who games everyone, rapes Lara and completely lacks remorse or moral fiber? A Magnificent Bastard who simply does what he must to survive? A Jerk with a Heart of Gold who genuinely cares for Lara, to the extent he's willing to save Yuri as well? You could make a case for all of the above.
  • Anvilicious: The book definitely, the author constantly places little essays about the nature of art of Communism or what have you in the mouths of his characters.
  • Award Snub: Although it did very well at the Oscars, earning ten nominations and winning five of them, Omar Sharif was not nominated for Best Actor (despite the fact that he WON the Golden Globe that year). Julie Christie actually won Best Actress that year, but not for this film (instead, she managed to get it for John Schlesinger's Darling). Tom Courtenay also lost out for Best Supporting Actor.
  • Awesome Music: Maurice Jarre's score, highlighted by the unforgettable "Lara's Theme".
  • Critical Dissonance: Despite being a colossal box office hit, most critics hated Zhivago during its initial release. Its reputation has improved over time, however.
  • Ending Fatigue: The last 15-20 minutes after Yuri and Lara separate drag on for many viewers, especially since it's largely Yevgraf describing (rather than the film showing) what happened to the main characters (Yuri's death excepted).
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Pretty much every review singles out Tom Courtenay (Pasha) and Rod Steiger (Komarovsky) for praise. The former was even the only member of the cast to get nominated for an Oscar.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Robert Bolt dismissed Sarah Miles for Lara, calling her a "north country slut". Not only was she in David Lean's next film, Ryan's Daughter, which was also written by Bolt, but they were later married!
  • Magnificent Bastard: Komarovsky, throughout the entire film.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Anarchist being sent to the gulag. He chastises the other passengers, saying they are the slaves. Played by none other than Klaus Kinski (For a Few Dollars More, Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo).
  • Tear Jerker: Plenty of examples. One unnerving scene in the novel is the formerly self-assured, jovial burner-of-villages Strelnikov's breakdown, as he keeps talking at Yuri late into the night just to avoid being left alone.
    "I'll be going soon myself."