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Les poupées russes (2005)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 15 June 2005 (France)
Five years after their summer together in Barcelona, Xavier, William, Wendy, Martine and Isabelle reunite.


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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Evguenya Obraztsova ...
Celia Shelburn
Martine Demaret ...
Mère Xavier
Pierre Cassignard ...
Olivier Saladin ...
Pierre Gérald ...
M. Boubaker


Xavier is now thirty. No longer a student, he is not yet a well-balanced, fulfilled adult either. His career is unsatisfying: Far from being the renowned novelist he aimed to be he must be content with little jobs such as reporter or ghost writer. His greatest "achievement" in "literature" is his collaboration to the script of a corny TV soap! His sentimental life is not much better, rhythmed by one night stands and unfinished romances. It looks as if when he seduces a woman beautiful outside and inside such as Kassia or Wendy he can't keep them. Will he ever bring his life into focus? Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

15 June 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Russian Dolls  »

Box Office


$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$57,196 (Switzerland) (17 June 2005)


$323,331 (USA) (24 September 2006)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The man knocking on the toilets door while Xavier is inside is the director of the movie. See more »


In the stylized sequence in which Xavier imagines he is following Célia in the "Street with Perfect Proportions," the shadows don't match: The shots on Celia show almost no shadows, but in shots on Xavier, the street is almost completely in shadows. See more »


Natacha: [speaks in Russian to ask for the stage lights to be turned back on so that she can practice]
William: I-I don't - I don't speak Russian. Sorry.
William: [Natacha climbs up the ladder to reach him] Be careful.
Natacha: [in Russian] Hi. I was talking about the lights. I have to work a little bit longer. Just a bit.
William: I don't understand. Sorry.
Natacha: [in Russian] I need... the light. To work. Like that.
[William shrugs]
Natacha: Like the sun. On the stage.
William: Sunset? Light? Ok, ok. So you want the lights on.
Natacha: [in Russian] Yes.
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Crazy Credits

During the ending credits there is a scene where Wendy is putting the last piece of the puzzle. See more »


References Amélie (2001) See more »


Te Deum
Composed by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
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User Reviews

I'm Too Old For This
12 August 2007 | by (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Somebody reviewed this film earlier and called it 'totally awesome'. Somehow, that was appropriate. This is EXACTLY the kind of film that appeals to people who use the word 'awesome' to describe everything from car crashes to runaway squirrels.

I'm past middle age, and should be ashamed of myself for even watching this 'confection,' which reminded me of a VERY long PG version of the TV show Friends, and, like, we all know that show is, like, so totally awesome, ah, like.

I've seen variations on this 'plot' (??) roughly six thousand times over the past ten years -- talented guys (they're ALWAYS talented guys: usually writers; no menial slapheads in dead-end jobs need apply) who just can't decide if they love X,Y, or Z, and X,Y, or Z can't decide if they love A,B, or C. Meanwhile, lesbians or gay men keep popping in and out along the way, accompanied by estranged parents who magically seem to end up back together after years of hating each other. In short, this film is driven by formula (and profit); it is designed to attract the optimum number of audiences, irrespective of age, gender or sexual orientation.

Giveth unto me a break.

Russian Dolls is laughable because of the hysteria over the subject matter: that is, the whole meaning of human existence amounts to whether or not you're going to find Mr. or Ms. Right. Forget Socratic enquiry or the guru on the mountain: life is a titanic struggle between testosterone and estrogen. Bernard Shaw's famous line ('youth is a wonderful thing; too bad it's wasted on the young') is on full display in this movie.

The massive computer dating racket (sorry, industry?) is clogged with miserable people who thought they found 'love' in their 20s. Inevitably, they married and shortly thereafter found this 'love' was actually just a bad case of overheated loins. Unbridled lust is not a reliable indicator of the hopelessly complex nature of 'love,' but when you watch movies like Russian Dolls, you'd think it was.

This is ostensibly a French movie, but it very much resembles what is pumped out of the Hollywood factory about once a week on average (or is it just my imagination?). What Russian Dolls DOES offer that's out of the ordinary is some terrific post-card scenery (London, Barcelona, St. Petersburg, Paris).

Anchoring this pleasant fluff (it really IS pleasant; stupid, but pleasant) is Romain Duris, who perfectly fits the central casting requirement of the hapless hero who just can't seem to get it together. Think of a Gallic version of Friends' David Schwimmer. The problem with Duris (and many other current actors like him) is that he's playing a 'type' that has been played countless times before. Couldn't an actor just sleep-walk through this part? Duris is a likable (maybe even lovable) clod, but I'm not sure about his acting skills. I just saw him in the 2007 French film Moliere, and somebody should file a lawsuit for criminal miscasting.

The dialogue in Russian Dolls is pretty pedestrian (actually, unintentionally hilarious), but overall the thing that really irritated me was the length. It just wouldn't stop. At 2 hours, 5 minutes on my clock, I was near the breaking point before it mercifully wrapped up and went home. It really shouldn't take more than, say, 80 minutes to tell this story, which has been told many, many, many times before. In essence, it's really just a dressed-up, extended (and expensive) version of a sitcom episode.

Other than all of the above, Russian Dolls is, like, you know, like, totally awesome. Ah, dude.

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