The Death of Stalin

The Death of Stalin

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"Director Armando Iannucci (Veep) depicts the power grab that ensued after Joseph Stalin died of a stroke in 1953. The Soviet Union's leaders soon dive headlong into a farcical but ruthless game of bargaining, deception, and backstabbing. Adapted from the graphic novel of the same name by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin. Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Palin, and Jason Isaacs star."--AllMovie.com.

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r
rugolin
Nov 26, 2018

A dark and satirical comedy-drama about the battle for succession after the death of the murderous totalitarian Josef Stalin. Not a laugh a minute comedy but more of an absurdist take on the byzantine struggle between members of Stalin's inner circle for control of the Soviet Union. Steve Buscemi is not the loud and bombastic Khrushchev who would beat lectern with his shoe to make a point but more of a cunning reformer and ruthless conspirator. Simon Russell Beale is scary good as the monstrous but all too human NKVD chief Beria. Jason Issacs makes an excellent appearance as the bluff and no nonsense WW2 hero General Zhukov. A very good satirical take on the lengths people will go to get power and the corruption of any kind of political system and people inside that make it work.

p
Punnoval
Nov 17, 2018

If you are a Monty Python fan (or maybe even the Goon Show) this one is for you. Unfortunately the childish mugging takes all the threat of malevolence out of it. Demand that your public library get Alexsei German's "Khrustalyov, My Car!" and get a Russian point of view.
Demerit points for Steve Buscemi's pathetic portrayal of Nikita Khrushchev. Buscemi only appears capable of playing criminal dorks (see Fargo or Reservoir Dogs.)
I got 2 laffs from this thing - therefore it is worth 2 notches above worthless.

a
akirakato
Nov 10, 2018

Written and directed by Armando Iannucci in 2017 based on the French graphic novel "La mort de Staline", this political satire focuses on the power struggle following the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953.
This film has been banned in Russia not because all the main actors speak English, but because, I guess, Russian bureaucrats appear foolish.
In any case, it is quite interesting and hilarious to see how the conspirators act silly.

a
anonymouswe
Nov 09, 2018

I was disappointed in this. I stopped watching about 1:15 in, so I watched most of it. The premise had some delightful potential for certain, but I had laughed twice at some pretty brilliant bits, but kept watching mostly unfunny and boring film waiting for most laughs like the two I had experienced and they never came, so I finally asked myself, "Why am I still watching this? Will I spend another 40 minutes in the hopes of what, getting one more laugh?" So I quit watching.

s
singidunum_25
Nov 08, 2018

Really, what was the point?

s
steve1111
Oct 17, 2018

The chap below may appreciate "Divided We Fall" if comedy in bleak situations is his thing!

SCL_Justin Oct 16, 2018

I think comedy is at its best when it is dealing with bleak situations, with utter hopelessness and horribleness, so I loved the hell out of this movie. The death and murder and banality of it all as the people with all the power machinate pettily against each other makes for a lot more laughs than you might otherwise think.

h
hecto
Oct 04, 2018

A slapstick comedy in which the gags eventually start to wear thin. The film is relieved by some wacky dialogue and good acting, but not enough to make up for the relentless Keystone Cops approach. Fine cameos by Andrea Riseborough as Stalin's daughter and Jason Isaacs as a wonderfully campy Marshal Zhukov.

s
skeeb14
Oct 04, 2018

Someone actually decided to make a movie about Stalin's The Great Terror and try to make it accessible to a mainstream audience by turning it into a black comedy -- "a comedy of terrors" as the dvd jacket says. Huh. The result IMO is more horrifying than funny. When Stalin dies, a motley collection of sociopathic oddballs in the politburo vie to fill the resulting power vacuum. The filmmaker gives the power struggle a sort of "This Is Spinal Tap" treatment, yet without trying to hide or whitewash any of the cruelty and violence. Ambitious filmmaking, yes. Strong acting and production value, yes. Funny, no.

b
Biblitz
Sep 28, 2018

Two stars for two laughs. I know the English refuse on principle to respect any sacred cows - everyone and everything is fair game for comedy in their world. Fair enough. But in my world, this film goes too far, IMO, Stalin's terror is too fresh, too recent, and the Russian archives reveal still more of it each day. As a student of Russian literature and contemporary history, as someone who knows many Russians who survived the terror, I just can't find it in my heart to laugh at any of it. No, thanks. Especially in the current political climate when idiots and thugs again favor renewed Marxism. Ugh.

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bdelligatti
Jul 05, 2018

"I've had nightmares that made more sense than this!"... spoken to Khrushchev

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