This is a remarkably fine film, with a genuine look at the kind of fascism/totalitarianism and fear that come whenever societies stray too far from the center, whether lurching too far left and killing millions or too far right and doing the same thing ... Kingsley and the supporting cast do an amazing job. Why does it have such a low rating? This is a cinematic achievement as good as any I can recall. The sets bring back a complete and accurate look at what the "flavor" of Soviet Stalinist Communist architecture and life were like (I studied Russian and Russia during the Cold War era and know a bit about this if you are skeptical). The music is, of course, remarkable; but it's not just the music, but also how it's used. Whether in relation to the Soviets, the Nazis, the intelligentsia, the proletariat, or Shostakovich's own family. Again, I think this movie should be at least a 7.5; and wonder why it isn't.