October 14, 2007
NYFF. Alexandra."One of my favorite films from this year's festival is Aleksandr Sokurov's Alexandra, a spare, poetic, and understatedly affirming elegy on the spiritual and moral consequences of a corrosive, interminable war," writes acquarello. "Aleksandr Sokurov merges the focus of his trilogy of films on political power (such as The Sun) with those about the intensely chambered, loving intimacy between family members in Alexandra, a film about the grandmother of the title (Galina Vishnevskaya) traveling to a Russian army base in contemporary Chechnya to visit her grandson Denis (Vasily Shevtsov)," writes Daniel Kasman. "The combination is an uneasy one." "What is most interesting about his latest film... is how straightforward it seems to be," writes Leo Goldsmith at Not Coming to a Theater Near You. "The style of Sokurov's work has a certain variety - from the dour, utter impenetrability of his Oriental Elegy to the lush emotionality of Mother and Son - that may not be apparent to those who know the director solely through his relative blockbuster, Russian Ark. This new film is a far more intimate work, and as in the conjectural biographies in his 'trilogy of power,' Sokurov here strives for a perspective so intimate that it is almost constrictive." "For better or worse, the film passes along with the fey twilight of a late Manoel de Oliveira film, content to record another chapter in the steady procession into mortality," writes Kevin B Lee at Slant. "Through a bare-bones plot Sokurov ponders such heavy duty issues as the conscience of Russia and cost of war," writes Erica Abeel for Filmmaker. "And Alexandra is also a love story with a heart as big as the steppes, between, improbably, the titular grandmother and her grandson." The IFC's Alison Willmore finds the scenes between Alexandra and her grandson "quiet marvels of rueful familial adoration, with Denis, a career soldier, proudly showing off his men and tank while Alexandra gently chides his choices in life." Earlier: Michael Guillén; and reviews from Cannes.
Posted by dwhudson at October 14, 2007 2:28 PM