The Death of Stalin

The Death of Stalin

DVD - 2018
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When the tyrannical ruler Stalin dies, his hapless inner circle scrambles to come up with the next evolution of the revolution, but it's clear everyone is really out for themselves. Proof that comedy, like politics, is all in the execution.
Publisher: [Toronto] :, Elevation Pictures,, 2018
Branch Call Number: DEA
Characteristics: 1 DVD (107 min.) : sound, color ; 12 cm

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w
WayneBooksandDVDs
Jan 14, 2019

I liked the film a lot more than I thought I would. Reviews had led me to believe that the film was too much of a farce, too lightweight somehow. I think the tone of the movie suits the events it depicts. The scramble for power after the death of a tyrant, and the haphazard cruelty to the regime's victims is well-played as realistic surrealism. The casting was generally excellent, but I did not buy Steve Buscemi, Jeffery Tambor and Rupert Friend (as Vasily Stalin) in their roles. And I thought a little more could have been done from the perspective of the citizens who just wanted to come to Moscow to pay their respects to Uncle Joseph -- but the horribly sad probably couldn't be made to fit with the horribly funny and surreal actions of the Central Committee scurrying like rodents to create victims rather than to become victims of their own colleagues.

c
ChristopherLaing
Jan 14, 2019

An amazing film if you can handle the black humor. The opening concert performance encapsulates the feeling of terror that must have terrorized the people. This film is not for the squeamish. I watched it multiple times in order to catch all of the one liners. The treatment of women by Comrade Beria is sad and disgusting beyond comprehension. Some exceptional performances by the ensemble cast.

l
lavasushi
Jan 13, 2019

I guess that’s black humor based on political reality. Kind of sad in a funny way. Rambles on a bit, but so does Russia.

g
greatflicks
Jan 01, 2019

Very interesting movie, we thought it was informative. Won't get any big awards but worth the time it takes to watch.

v
ValeriaBogdanova
Dec 30, 2018

Any death must be respected, I believe.
Movie is not related neither to Russian (Soviet) mentality & reality, no to the real sense of humour. Comedy for the ignorant idiots!

JCLIanH Dec 27, 2018

Fragile Male Egos + A Terror State + A Power Vacuum = High Entertainment. There is something very Dr. Strangelove-esque about The Death of Stalin that really resonated with me. Armando Iannucci takes a stone-cold sober topic and makes it hilarious because to take it seriously would be pretty bleak. This droll masterpiece doesn't work if the cast can't nail the bone-dry humor, and the ensemble is more than game (in particular Steve Buscemi and Simon Russell Beale as Khrushchev and Beria, respectively).

1
1860Colt
Dec 27, 2018

Not as funny as advertised. The trailer depicted a movie that would have laugh a minute jokes, yet be very realistic and dramatic. I laughed a couple times... The deleted scenes showed much more humorous antics, yet they were left out. Go figure. Works as a weird drama, but not as funny as I expected. Descent enough for a waste of time.

m
marinea
Dec 19, 2018

comedy/satire Stalin hum...prob avail

l
lukasevansherman
Dec 17, 2018

The last time I saw a comedy about Stalin, it was the inane Australian film "Children of the Revolution." In Armando Iannucci's film, the not so great dictator dies and his inner circle furiously scramble and struggle for power. Iannucci does "Veep" and there's the same caustic rapid fire dialogue and mix of farce and satire. If you don't think gulags and political executions are fodder for comedy, then you'd best avoid this. The highly capable ensemble cast includes Steve Buscemi (as Khrushchev), Jason Isaacs, Olga Kurylenko, Paddy Considine, Simon Russell Beale, and Michael Palin. This should be a golden age for political satire.

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.

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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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