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      An Ordinary Execution

      2010 1h 44m History Drama List
      89% Tomatometer 9 Reviews 51% Audience Score 100+ Ratings In 1952, a woman (Marina Hands) becomes the personal physician to Russian dictator Joseph Stalin (André Dussollier). Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (9) Critics Reviews
      Philip De Semlyen Empire Magazine Always mesmerising, Dussollier's Stalin is a portrait of a leader whose frailties are matched only by his capacity for evil. Rated: 3/5 Nov 29, 2010 Full Review Philip French Guardian It is permeated with a gut-wrenching reality about a historical period that's insufficiently understood and in present-day Russia viewed through rose-tinted glasses. Nov 29, 2010 Full Review Trevor Johnston Time Out Imposing, yet slightly academic. Rated: 3/5 Nov 29, 2010 Full Review Alistair Harkness Scotsman Dramatically speaking it's a bit too flat and seems more suited to theatre... Rated: 2/5 Dec 13, 2010 Full Review Rich Cline Shadows on the Wall With a thoughtful and introspective tone, this film continually surprises us as its story unfurls and a young doctor's life takes a strange and portentous turn, colliding with one of history's most notorious figures. Rated: 4/5 Dec 2, 2010 Full Review David Parkinson Radio Times A movie that's impeccably played and chillingly compelling. Rated: 3/5 Nov 29, 2010 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (12) audience reviews
      Audience Member Marc Dugain est écrivain et adapte sa propre oeuvre au cinéma - ou du moins, un petite partie de celle-ci - avec "Une exécution ordinaire", qui retrace la rencontre entre Staline et une magnétiseuse durant les derniers mois de la vie du despote. Contrairement à d'autres écrivains qui s'étaient improvisés réalisateurs (Michel Houellebecq par exemple et le désastreux "La possibilité d'une île"), Dugain ne se tire pas trop mal de l'exercice, malgré un certain manque de vigueur qui donne parfois au film des allures d'un simple "théâtre filmé". Dans l'ensemble, "Une exécution ordinaire" ne s'attarde guère sur l'aspect historique ou le tableau de la vie quotidienne dans l'URSS d'après-guerre et se concentre surtout sur la confrontation entre un Staline tour à tour amical et froidement manipulateur, et son infirmière improvisée. Si ce jeu du chat et de la souris s'avère relativement intéressant à suivre, la qualité de tels huis-clos se mesurent avant tout à la richesse de leurs dialogues et à la tension des échanges : du coup, la facture un peu "artificielle" évoquée plus haut affaiblit pas mal la portée et la puissance d'évocation du film. Cette artificialité s'impose également dans la difficulté qu'on éprouve à concevoir que les protagonistes, qu'il s'agisse de Staline, de ce couple de Moscovites ordinaires projetés dans la tourmente de l'histoire ou des assassins de la police secrète, s'expriment et jouent avec un accent et un esprit tout à fait français, quand bien même André Dussolier, grimé avec soin, offre une ressemblance physique frappante avec le véritable dictateur. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Audience Member Possibly better suited to stage than screen, but fascinating stuff. A great portrait of the insanity of Stalin (and Stalinism). Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/18/23 Full Review Audience Member A curious mixture of unbelievable (the idea of the lady doctor's professional relationship with Stalin) and very believable (the way everyone lived their lives in fear of being informed upon, the poisonous effect of living in a dictatorship), A sense of dread was very effectively created. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/23/23 Full Review Audience Member A compelling and yet sad movie beautifully filmed in subdued tones. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member Set in the last months of Stalin's rule, when everyone was paranoid about everyone else, the film tells a tale of a doctor who is able to ease pain through touch and is summoned by Stalin to help him. Stalin is portrayed as a frail, paranoid and evil despot who, while happy for her to help, destroys the rest of her family. Marina Hands brilliantly portrays the helpless desperation of the doctor who has no other choices. The film is bleak and compelling, with shades of Kafka and Orwell thrown in. Great viewing.... Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Mike M Hands, elsewhere a light and lovely screen presence ("Lady Chatterley"), spends the whole film with her newly darkened brow furrowed in a state of Slavic severity: the lady has a lot of borscht on her plate. If you can get past the blip that sees everyone inside the Kremlin speaking fluent, poetic French - and, frankly, I couldn't - then there may be truths to be gleaned here about the betrayals hardline Communism necessitated. Dussolier, clasping his hands beneath a 'tache and false chin, offers a pretty good physical likeness of Papa Joe, but there's a lot of supposition and projection going on with these characters; Anna bumps into Vladimir Putin's grandfather at one point, for no greater reason than to give creaky material some spurious contemporary edge... It should have stayed on the shelf. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 12/23/10 Full Review Read all reviews
      An Ordinary Execution

      My Rating

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis In 1952, a woman (Marina Hands) becomes the personal physician to Russian dictator Joseph Stalin (André Dussollier).
      Director
      Marc Dugain
      Producer
      Jean-Louis Livi
      Screenwriter
      Marc Dugain, Marc Dugain
      Genre
      History, Drama
      Original Language
      French (Canada)
      Runtime
      1h 44m
      Sound Mix
      DTS, Dolby Digital