Russia, 1936: revolutionary hero Colonel Kotov is spending an idyllic summer in his dacha with his young wife and six-year-old daughter Nadia and other assorted family and friends. Things ... See full summary »
The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.
Helena Bonham Carter
A meditation on power and the metaphor of the body of state, based on the real episode of dementia experienced by George III [now suspected a victim of porphyria, a blood disorder]. As he ... See full summary »
Russia, 1936: revolutionary hero Colonel Kotov is spending an idyllic summer in his dacha with his young wife and six-year-old daughter Nadia and other assorted family and friends. Things change dramatically with the unheralded arrival of Cousin Dmitri from Moscow, who charms the women and little Nadia with his games and pianistic bravura. But Kotov isn't fooled: this is the time of Stalin's repression, with telephone calls in the middle of the night spelling doom - and he knows that Dmitri isn't paying a social call... Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
Like most film lovers I prize invention, originality and formal daring. BURNT BY THE SUN is a very conservative historical epic, full of sweeping scenes paralelling intimate domestic exchanges; theatrical framings and acting with lots of dialogue; Jarre-esque sugary Romantic music; a fetishisation of nature.
Nevertheless, I loved this film to bits, for all these reasons. it was as rich as a novel (although it is an original), yet full of the vibrancy, life, violence, anger, and comedy absent from most literary adaptations. There is also a sense of using a cliched mode to attack its assumptions, as Chekhovian comedy turns into a denunciation of totalitarianism, and a more absurdist register.
Mikhalkov's filming of a superficially ugly Russia is lyrical and emotionally charged, and his own performance is like watching an oak tree being systematically hacked, sublime in its reach. Packed with memorable, searing set-pieces, but the filming of Marusya's confusion on Mitya's return, or his story to Nadya, shot with Nicholas Ray's feel for decor, stand out for me.
14 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?