The Death of Stalin
For May Day, I figured I should do something Soviet. And what more “appropriate” than this movie? Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin is a blisteringly dark satire which uses the events surrounding the titular event as the basis for twisted humor. It’s not exactly the most accurate historically, but it has many good actors and good scenes.
Steve Buscemi steals the show as eventual victor Khrushchev. He slides into the role with the perfect mix of earnestness, sleaze, and silliness. Likewise, even though his entire character is ahistorical (at this point IRL, Zhukov was kicked upstairs to command a district in the middle of nowhere) Jason Isaacs does a similarly excellent job as the head general. The casting isn’t perfect, though. Jeffrey Tambor’s one-note portrayal of spineless wimp Malenkov is grating and mostly not funny.
Still, this is a funny, entertaining and now relevant movie.
One thought on “A Thousand Words: The Death of Stalin”
Great review! I *love* that movie, LOL. It does an excellent job showing the absurdity of Soviet politics, and is a fountain of memes, besides.
I’m curious about your comment on Zhukov—based off the Wikipedia article, at least, it seems he was present in Moscow at the time of Stalin’s death, and then played a major role in the succession crisis, more or less as depicted in the film.