I must have an extremely bad taste. Most professional critics have written devastating comments on this movie. I just loved it, all 180 minutes of it! Of course, according to the rules, you should not mix slapstick and serious drama. Mikhalkov does it and the result completely vindicates him, I feel. Critics should not forget that cinema is about entertainment. They blame Mikhalkov because he did not make another high brow artistic movie like « Burnt by the sun ». I liked both movies equally well, different as they are. Critics say Mikhalkov presented a phony image of old Russia. Of course, his billboard image of tsarist Russia is not devoid of clichés and camp, but what a glorious camp it is! Mikhalkov is accused of painting a much too rosy picture of old Russia. But are the Russians (and other people) not entitled to some glimpses of the beautiful Russia that could have been, but somehow never seems able to materialize in this century of gloom ? The critics point out that the movie has a lot of formal weaknesses. To the heck with the critics ! This movie may not have a very deep message, but I think it illustrates, in a poetic way, the difficulty Russians and Westerners have at understanding each other. Either you love this movie, or you d better leave it . When you look at the viewer voting results, you see that three quarters of those who voted on this movie adore it (scores 8-10), while the others loathe it (scores 1-4). Apparently it is a movie you can't be indifferent about.