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The Luzhin Defence (2000)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  8 September 2000 (UK)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,576 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 59 user | 47 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

Two worlds collide when an eccentric genius falls in love with a strong-willed society beauty.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Aleksandr Ivanovich 'Sascha' Luzhin
...
Natalia Katkov
...
Vera, Natalia's Mother
...
Leo Valentinov
Christopher Thompson ...
Jean de Stassard
...
Dottore Salvatore Turati
Peter Blythe ...
Ilya
...
Aunt Anna
Mark Tandy ...
Luzhin's Father
Kelly Hunter ...
Luzhin's Mother
Alexander Hunting ...
Young Aleksandr Luzhin
Alfredo Pea ...
1st Official
Fabio Pasquini ...
2nd Official
Luigi Petrucci ...
Santucci
Carlo Greco ...
Hotel Manager
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Storyline

Set in the late 1920s, The Luzhin Defence tells the story of a shambling, unworldly chess Grand Master who arrives in the Italian Lakes to play the match of his life and unexpectedly finds the love of his life. Discovering his prodigious talent in boyhood overshadowed by his parents' failing marriage, Luzhin's lyrical passion for chess has become his refuge and rendered the real world a phantom. Already matched up by her family to the very suitable Comte de Stassard, when Natalia meets Luzhin, she is drawn to the erratic genius and offers him a glimpse outside of his chess obsession. But it is a world he is not equipped to deal with and his two worlds collide to tragic effect. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

chess | genius | obsession | lake | 1920s | See All (35) »

Taglines:

His love dictates every move.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sensuality and thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 September 2000 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Luzhin Defense  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$63,203 (USA) (20 April 2001)

Gross:

$1,051,811 (USA) (24 August 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

A cameraman and camera are reflected in the car window as Luzhin prepares to go to the wedding (about the 1:33 mark). See more »

Quotes

Aleksandr Ivanovich Luzhin: There's a pattern emerging, a definite pattern. Not Turati. I repeat that game. I've beaten him. And his moves are repeated, repeated, repeated moves. I must keep track... of every second. Every second I must keep track of, every second.
Natalia Katkov: It sounds like such a lonely battle.
See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz 2
from "Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2"
Composed by Dmitri Shostakovich (as Dimitri Shostakovich)
Performed by Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest (as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)
Conducted by Riccardo Chailly
By permission of Boosey & Hawkes Licensing
Courtesy of Decca Record Label Ltd.
Under license from Universal Special Markets
(p) 1992 Decca Records
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User Reviews

 
Definitely One to Check, Mate.
14 September 2000 | by (Belfast, Northern Ireland) – See all my reviews

Part of the enjoyment that I took from this film stemmed from the fact that I knew nothing more about it than that it starred John Turturro and Emily Watson (2 reasons enough to watch), was a period piece and involved chess. Everything that evolved before me was completely unexpected. I shan't, therefore, give away much more. Suffice to say that Turturro is magnificent as an eccentric, obsessive and deeply vulnerable chess genius and Em matches him step for step as the strong-minded woman who is drawn to him. It's about love and obsession, rather than the venerated board game and after drawing me in gradually over the first half hour, became totally compelling. And I defy anyone to second-guess the ending.


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