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This film is based on Vladimir Nabokov's first novel "Mashen'ka", which was written in Russian and published in 1926 when Nabokov was living in Berlin. "Mashen'ka" contained autobiographical descriptions of his first serious romance and of the family estate (also described in the autobiography "Speak, Memory"). "Mashen'ka" was also derived from his earlier, abandoned novel "Happiness". See more »
A totally engaging screen adaptation of the Nabokov novel of the same name (subsequently re-named "Mary"), Maschenka is all about the beauty of memories.
Cary Elwes gives one of the best performances of his career (before he sold out to Hollywood) as the young Ganin, a Russian émigré coming to terms with his new life in Berlin.
Our young friend's drab existence is transformed when he learns that his first love is moving into his apartment block and sets him off on a trip down memory lane. But was it all as magical as he remembers, or is it his memory comforting him with images of better days of yore?
An outstanding cast also includes one of the greatest British character actors in the form of Freddie Jones as a washed up old poet desperate to join family in France. A colourful group of tenants in the building are played to perfection by a largely European cast.
A highly emotional film that tugs at the heart as much as it tickles the funny bone, Maschenka is truly faithful to its source material. Directed with skill and an understanding of the text, Maschenka features stunning a blend of stunning summer locations and grim industrial modernism. Accompanied by a soundtrack so effective that you wouldn't know it was there.
If you liked the recent adaptation of The Luzhin Defense, you'll LOVE Maschenka.
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