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17 November 2018

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The Concert

On the artistic front (stuff like writing, believability, characterization, cinematography) this film is a must miss. Filled with hideous stereotypes, clichés and plot twists that demand Golden Gate scale suspensions of disbelief, The Concert is pure cheese. Mélanie Laurent and Aleksei Gutskov take two for the team and offer very touching, at times charismatic performances with what they have been given, but that is far from enough.

If you know anything about Russia (no, you can’t walk all the way to Sheremetyevo from Central Moscow) or music (no, you can’t assemble an orchestra and put on a concert without a single rehearsal), you will probably find The Concert hard to sit through. Yet for Russophiles there is at least one redeeming virtue: most of the acting is done in Russian by Russian actors. A refreshing change when too many films are full of non-Russians playing Russians and speaking something closer to Klingon than the real thing.

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Reviewed in Russian Life: Sep/Oct 2010