THE DEATH OF STALIN quick review

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Ugh, sixth movie of the week! And here I thought it was only going to be five. Nope, can’t make it too easy on me. Last week was just three flicks, gotta make up for missing slots, I guess. And no less, it has to creep up on me literally a day before my movie weekend starts. Bastards.

Haha, nah, I’m kidding. It’s been a while since I’ve had a full movie day, so this’ll be fun.

This movie looks like it’s about, well, Stalin’s death and it becomes a confusing time to see who will become the next Russian leader, all the while antics with Stalin’s body. It’s also based on a comic book that I’ve never heard of so… there’s that.

Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Steve Buscemi (TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT [2017], HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 [2015], MONSTERS, INC. [2001], CON AIR [1997], and upcoming films THE WEEK OF [2018] and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION [2018]), Jason Isaacs (A CURE FOR WELLNESS [2017], THE PATRIOT [2000], EVENT HORIZON [1997], and upcoming films LONDON FIELDS [2018] and HOTEL MUMBAI [2018]), Jeffrey Tambor (THE ACCOUNTANT [2016], HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS [2000], GIRL, INTERRUPTED [1999], and the upcoming AMUSEMENT PARK [2019]), Olga Kurylenko (THE WATER DIVINER [2015], OBLIVION [2013], QUANTUM OF SOLACE [2008], and upcoming films JOHNNY ENGLISH 3 [2018] and THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE [2018]), and Adrian McLoughlin, known for a bunch of stuff I’ve never heard of.

Now for the crew. Directing and co-writing, we have Armando Iannucci, known for ALAN PARTRIDGE (2013). Iannucci’s partners-in-pen are a red flag total of four other writers: David Schneider and Ian Martin (stuff I’ve never heard of), Peter Fellows (a ton of short films), and an original screenplay credit to Fabien Nury, who also wrote the comic. Composing the score is Christopher Willis, known for TV show THE LION GUARD (2016 – ongoing). The cinematographer is Zac Nicholson, known for a bunch of stuff I’ve never heard of, and upcoming films THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY (2018) and RED JOAN (2018). Finally, the editor is Peter Lambert, known for WOMAN IN GOLD (2015), TWILIGHT: NEW MOON (2009), and the upcoming MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN (2018).

Overall, this looks pretty funny. I enjoy most of the cast, though no longer a fan of Tambor after the allegations against him last year. Not familiar with the crew, but here’s hoping that this movie leaves a special mark in my memory.

This is my honest opinion of: THE DEATH OF STALIN

 

(SUMMARY)

Set in 1953, Soviet Russia. Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) and his administration are enjoying his regime. But one fateful day, the man is found dead and a struggle to find the Soviet Union’s next leader begins.

(REVIEW)

I had some fun with this one. I can’t claim it to be the best comedy of the year, but it was pretty enjoyable.

The movie plays like a bunch comedy sketches, which kinda worked for me, despite how stupid they could be. Surprisingly, Kurylenko was pretty funny, as Maria, who wanted a personal note of hers telling off Stalin to be delivered with his ordered recording of the concert at the beginning of the movie. Apparently Stalin’s son Vasily (Rupert Friend) is an incompetent hockey coach. Field Marshal Zhukov (Jason Isaacs) is introduced by having a ridiculous amount of medals across his uniform, as well as making a comment toward Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor) about his bad hair, remarking “Did Coco Chanel take a shit on your head?” That still has me going.

To be honest, despite not being a bad movie, it’s still what it is: a political film. One would think making it a comedy would open up the possibility that when shit happens, I’d be able to follow it. But… nope, I still couldn’t follow it very well. I have no idea what the hell was happening. Maybe in a strange way, the comedy worked against my ability to understand it. As if, I’m too distracted by the one-liners that, as a result, I don’t know what the actual plot it. Either that, or my brain just isn’t tailored to follow political films of any caliber.

Overall, it’s a funny little flick and maybe the historically savvy will have a much better time than I did. Still, I recommend it. It’s kind of an indie film, so it may be a little hard to find, but if you do, I say give it a shot. It’s funny. The fight for leadership wasn’t easy for me to follow, but still an enjoyably funny to keep me entertained.

My honest rating for THE DEATH OF STALIN: 4/5

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