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Armando Iannucci’s STALIN
Hi Andre! Welcome back ... again!
Fan-fucking-tastic. Thanks for the review, Andre (and welcome back!).

Seeing it on Saturday. Can’t wait. So happy for Beale, who I’ve loved since I saw him as King Arthur in Spamalot on the West End.
He is simply a powerhouse in this. He's the closest the film has to a lead and he just murders every scene he's in. A couple scenes with him near the end of the film would make lovely Oscar clips btw *winks at any Academy members that might be reading this*

Riseborough, Buscemi and Friend are also standouts.

In The Loop was in my top 10 of its decade. I can't imagine this not making that too. This is superlative, intelligent, adult cinema at its finest.

But it is DARK stuff. If you transposed some of the scenes near the ending to a dramatic depiction of this story, you wouldn't need to change a thing. That they still fit perfectly in this version is a testament to the genius of Iannucci.

He really is the most important comedic voice of our time.

Thanks for the welcome too guys :)
SRB was amazing in Penny Dreadful but most were too busy ogling Eva Green to notice. Can't wait to see this movie.

"If I can shoot rabbits, then I can shoot fascists" -  The Manic Street Preachers

Steam ID: iammrsaxon / Blizzard ID: MrSaxon#2283 / Xbox ID: MR SAX0N
The Death of Stalin promised the death of Stalin and, indeed, it delivered the death of Stalin. Full marks.

But seriously, while less "quippy," perhaps, than Iannucci's previous work, it manages to successfully create hysterical comedy from banal, grasping evil and rapacious cluelessness - no mean feat. Beale was indeed awesome - chillingly, menacingly funny and I think I know what scenes you mean, Andre. Though he's the MVP in a cast of MVPs (Jason Isaacs' first scene alone, my God), also gotta shout out Michael Palin, who's got a couple of "yeah, this is why this guy's a comedy legend" moments here.

It's amazing how much the film manages to mine from the transference of responsibility, from the first scene with Considine and his assistant, to the clumsy struggle to get Stalin to his bed, to that wonderful long setpiece of the committee meeting. Every character operates on the attitude of "if it's not my fault, I can't be blamed for it, and if I can't be blamed for it, I can't be killed for it". It's a scuzzy, scuttling feeling that permeates every choice - even casting a pall over the blithe spirits of Stalin's children, and leaving the film with a decided, nastily deliberate uneasiness. A proud entry in Iannucci's career.

Also, shout-out to the wonderfully pompous and unsettling score by Christopher Hills.
Yeah I loved the shit out of this. Not nearly as quotable as In the Loop, but equally funny in its own way. Each and every actor brings his A-game. Beale absolutely kills and its the most fun I've had with Buscemi in a long time.
I might have been born yesterday sir, but I stayed up all night!
This movie is superb, but as a comedy it is ink black. At the beginning I thought Iannucci was setting out to retell a horrific story as an absurdist farce. By the end, his point seemed to be that there is really no distinction. This is brilliant satire, but it is bleak as fuck.

The cast is excellent from top to bottom, but Buscemi and Beale are the standouts. I greatly enjoyed picking out the actors from The Thick of It (Ben 'Mega Blink' Swain as the conductor!) and Hot Fuzz.
I must've been in the wrong mindset to go see this theatrically. I dozed off for most of it.

I'll have to try again sometime.
You're sleeping in too much, Nooj. Should we call a movie doctor for you?
nobody gets in the way of my sleep
the death of Milos Forman made me think about how much Forman clearly influenced Iannucci in terms of approach to humor, tone, theme, staging, etc. specifically, Death of Stalin owes a huge debt to THE FIREMEN'S BALL, a film that doesn't get nearly as much recognition as Amadeus, Cuckoo's Nest, or even Loves of a Blonde, but is probably my favorite Forman. you can watch it on Amazon Prime.

personally, I don't think Iannucci has come close to melding sardonic wit and cinematic intuition to the level that Forman's best films did it, but I am glad someone's trying.
the empire never ended
If it's not as funny as In the Loop or Veep, it's only because, as frequently funny as The Death of Stalin is, it does nothing to hide how harrowing the Stalin administration was. Most of the humor derives from the fact that, despite Stalin and his cronies being responsible for countless deaths and rapes in the Soviet Union Russia, that people still went out of their way to grieve for Stalin, either out of intense fear or had been oppressed for so long that they start buying into the propaganda.

Death of Stalin is both a testament, and a warning, that in the end: fascism inevitably consumes everyone and everything; that those who were so certain that they were on the winning side, can immediately find themselves "unpersoned" in a heartbeat.

This is what satire looks like.
"God moves in mysterious ways," they said. Maybe he is on your side, the way it all worked out. Remembering other Christmases, wishing for something, something important, something special. And this is it, baby boy Frankie Bono. You're alone now. All alone. The scream is dead. There's no pain. You're home again, back in the cold, black silence

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