St. Petersburg, mid 19th century: the indolent, middle-aged Oblomov lives in a flat with his older servant, Zakhar. He sleeps much of the day, dreaming of his childhood on his parents' ... See full summary »
St. Petersburg, mid 19th century: the indolent, middle-aged Oblomov lives in a flat with his older servant, Zakhar. He sleeps much of the day, dreaming of his childhood on his parents' estate. His boyhood companion, Stoltz, now an energetic and successful businessman, adds Oblomov to his circle whenever he's in the city, and Oblomov's life changes when Stoltz introduces him to Olga, lovely and cultured. When Stoltz leaves for several months, Oblomov takes a country house near Olga's, and she determines to change him: to turn him into a man of society, action, and culture. Soon, Olga and Oblomov are in love; but where, in the triangle, does that leave Stoltz? Written by
According to the Kino DVD, this film won the Cannes Jury Prize upon its release in 1979. Oleg Tabakov brings sensitivity to the title role- we actually feel sympathy for this lovable loser who has lead a rather unproductive life. He has worked in the past, but none of his dreams or goals (if he ever had any) have come to fruition. As the character develops, we discover that this isn't from laziness, but more that he's afraid to take any risks in life. The director, Nikita Mikhalkov, won the Oscar for Best Foreign film in '94 for Burnt By The Sun, but I think Oblomov is actually the better film, with the caveat that it is a little long. The films share a common theme of two men in love with the same woman. And he also returns to E.Artemyev for the musical score of the film (also includes Bellini's "Casta Diva" and music by Rachmaninov).
Oblomov and his best friend Stolz are so different in character that the film uses flashbacks to their upbringings to discover why. Stolz's relationship with his father is much more interesting than Oblomov's with his mother, and perhaps some editing here would help. The acting is great throughout, especially Oblomov's relationship with his servant Zakhar. The film has a couple of emotional climaxes, when Oblomov confesses his shame to Stolz in the sauna, and when he confesses his love for Olga on the gazebo. Olga's weeping at the end of the film suggests she has some regrets for past decisions. Oblomov's son running across the fields to visit his mother, well, someone else will have to elucidate that for me.
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