In Moscow from a distant village comes a rustic Russian woman. The first person she meets is a surprisingly intelligent cab driver. They meet by chance and do not even go out on a date, yet...
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Ilya Semenovich Melnikov is a history teacher in an ordinary Soviet high school. He is a very good teacher and his students and colleagues treat him with a great deal of respect. However, ... See full summary »
Late for the last commuter train and reluctant to spend the night outdoors, two young men trick a family into letting them stay in their apartment: one of them insists that he's the illegitimate son of the man who owns the apartment.
A 1973 Soviet twelve-part television series, directed by Tatyana Lioznova and based on the novel of the same title by Yulian Semyonov. The series portrays the exploits of Maxim Isaev, a ... See full summary »
The members of a Soviet cooperative have pooled their money to have a badly needed parking garage built. But it turns out that the garage will have four fewer spaces than planned. In brutal... See full summary »
Tamara and Sasha were separated during the war. Now (1957) Sasha is visiting Moscow for five days and by chance recognizes the house where Tamara used to live. She is still living there with her nephew Slava.
Platon Ryabinin, a pianist, is traveling by train to a distant town of Griboedov to visit his father. He gets off to have lunch during a twenty minute stop at Zastupinsk railway station. He... See full summary »
In Moscow from a distant village comes a rustic Russian woman. The first person she meets is a surprisingly intelligent cab driver. They meet by chance and do not even go out on a date, yet the hours they spend together are enough for her to take a fresh look at her life.
Nyura is a VERY simple-minded but lovable, energetic and quite upbeat country pumpkin and a mother of two. After the film introduces us a little to the daily routine of her simple but hard-working life as a housewife in the idyllic country her fairly stern husband sends her to Moscow to sell some ham, buy some stuff and to check on the possibly unfaithful sister-in-law (if she has filed a divorce from her husband she won't be welcome in town anymore, if she were to show up, her brother, he promises, would give her the beating of a lifetime). Nyura is ill-equipped (especially mentally) for the journey and for the big city, with her naivety she could easily get into trouble having people (and especially men) take advantage of her. A taxi driver who shows interest in her could potentially be one such man but Nyura doesn't quite seem to grasp what's going on. How will she handle the situation? Is the taxi driver maybe a decent guy? What will happen? What COULD happen?
I'm not spoiling anything if I say that nothing dramatic happens. It's more about the what ifs. Nyura is played by Tatyana Doronina who is a plump but beautiful woman with a very expressive face. Her character isn't exactly your typical protagonist and the film does a wonderful job of putting the viewer in her mindset, the tone overall is always fairly light. We largely see her living from moment to moment, she rarely initiates things, rather she reacts to her environment without giving it much thought, and in the course of one or two days we share her little joys and worries, her little hopes and dreams (there are two excellent dream sequences that I think give us quite a bit of insight into Nyura within very little time). Like its protagonist the film has no feminist aspirations, certainly no big ones, which would have been out of place here.
I probably haven't quite communicated yet why the film is as delightful as it is. So let me point out one little moment. Nyura sits in the passenger seat of the taxi. She hasn't really exchanged a lot of words with the taxi driver yet beyond the usual formal talk. While driving she spots on a lane next to her a car with a long piece of stocking sticking out of the trunk, waving around behind the driving car. She glances at the taxi driver to check if he has noticed the car. While trying to suppress and hide her smile she contemplates if she should call his attention to the car. Finally she can't help it anymore and asks him what is sticking out of the trunk of that car over there. He looks at it and says it's a stocking after which she points at it while laughingly saying: "It looks so funny." She laughs at it some more rather quietly and still is a bit embarrassed, half-heartedly covering her mouth with one hand. When she looks at him he is completely stern, focusing on the road, probably thinking something like: "What's that broad's deal?" She, still visibly amused, moves her eyes back to the stocking but now suppresses her laughter again.
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