A traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, Joe's nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening.
In early-1953 Moscow, under the Great Terror's heavy cloak of state paranoia, the ever-watchful Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, collapses unexpectedly of a brain haemorrhage. Inevitably, when his body is discovered in the following morning, a frenetic surge of raw panic spreads like a virus in the senior members of the Council of Ministers, as they scramble to maintain order, weed out the competition, and, ultimately, take power. But in the middle of a gut-wrenching roller-coaster of incessant plotting, tireless machinations, and frail allegiances, absolutely no one is safe; not even the feared chief of the secret police, Lavrenti Beria. In the end, who will prevail after the death of Stalin?Written by
The Death of Stalin was screened in the Platform section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and received critical acclaim. It caused controversy in Russia and many other former members of the Soviet Union and was banned in Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan. See more »
Malenkov did not become General Secretary of the Communist Party when Stalin died. He did, however, become Premier of the Soviet Union. The Soviet leadership was clearly in flux, and Malenkov never had the status of obvious successor to Stalin that the movie implies. He did not chair the Politburo meeting after Stalin died; Khrushchev did. See more »
[receiving the record from the soldier who brought it to him]
What took you so long? You fucking walk here?
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Black-and-white photographs of the main characters appear over the end credits, but various figures are airbrushed out, have their faces defaced, or have other people superimposed over them, as per Soviet photos of Trotsky and purge victims. See more »
This is an excellent film. And its treatment of the Stalin Era of the Soviet Union is both darkly humorous and actually very unflinching in its depicting the monsters and their monstrosities for what they were.
I was worried that, in an attempt to extract humor from the situation that they might've glossed over just how monstrous the key characters actually were. To Iannucci and Schneider's credit however, there was absolutely no glossing over at all. Beria, for instance, is portrayed as every bit the monster in human form that he was - this, even as that portrayal is also made darkly and delightfully humorous at times.
The whole cast played their parts well and played them "straight" - which only heightened the humor and the horror of what life was like under Stalin in the Soviet Union. Even the nominal "hero" of the tale, Nakita Khrushchev, is realistically portrayed as being just as conniving and callous and power hungry as everyone else. Buscemi would seem an odd choice for that particular role but he pulls it off with style and excellence. So too does Simon Russell Beale in his portrayal of Beria.
This is a nicely done film with excellent production values, a great script, fine acting, excellent pacing, and a compelling tale that is well told.
I highly recommend it!
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