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Aleksandra (Alexandra) (2007)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 57
Fresh: 51 | Rotten: 6

At once ethereal and tangible, Aleksandr Sokurov's humane Chechen War drama features a spectacular turn by opera star Galina Vishnevskay.

100

Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 0

At once ethereal and tangible, Aleksandr Sokurov's humane Chechen War drama features a spectacular turn by opera star Galina Vishnevskay.

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,291

My Rating

Movie Info

Though Russian director Alexander Sokurov's feature Alexandra unfolds against the backdrop of military life, it constitutes a stark and deliberate chamber drama in lieu of a war picture. Alexandra Nikolaevna (Galina Vishnevskaya) is an elderly woman with a grandson, Denis (Vasily Shevtsov), conscripted into the army of the Chechen Republic. When she makes the arduous journey to visit him, the startling nature of military life as it unfolds before her eyes -- the absence of women, the blind

Unrated,

Drama

Apr 28, 2009

The Cinema Guild - Official Site External Icon

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September 7, 2007:
Toronto Film Fest, Day 2: Reviews of Rendition and Alexandra
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All Critics (61) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (6) | DVD (1)

At least one critic has called this Sokurov's most political film, but on its deepest level it considers not a particular war but the complex feelings between mothers and the young men they send out into the world to kill or be killed.

October 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's also quietly challenging, in its own way, not least in its portrait of old age, its trials, new freedoms and the privilege of changing one's mind before it becomes too late.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Remarkable, how little Sokurov tells us, while telling us so much.

August 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is built on a massive incongruity: Watching this octogenarian drag her little bent-up wheeled luggage cart, amid rolling tanks and military transport trucks, you're looking at two eternal verities%u2014war, and civilians caught up in its wake%u20

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An unusual masterpiece atmospheric anti-war film that is an example of cinema as pure feeling.

September 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Eccentric and tender, it is a picture out for grace rather than polemics, and it finds enough to make one see emotional intimacy anew

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Sokurov is able to say things about the terrible conflict without obvious polemic but to the maximum possible effect. That's largely why he is one of the most audacious and original directors in the world today.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

His sepia images of war's futility are beautiful, and Vishnevskaya's face is a compelling one, but they cannot compensate for the soporific anti-narrative.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

The eerie haze of the visuals, the half-babble of music and the toneless, teasing dialogue dance attendance on the strangest ghost of all: Galina Vishnevskaya.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Shot in shades of bleached-out khaki brown and augmented by a heart-rending orchestral score, it's a unique and intensely moving elegy for wasted lives.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

It's a film of small details rather than big gestures...and all the more powerful for it.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

But Aleksandr Sokurov, with the mesmerising and subtly disorientating directorial style that he has mastered, makes it feel emotionally real and imaginatively true. A wonderful film.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

A bone-weariness pervades every inch of the film; even the light is bleached dry of vitality.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

Apart from a thoroughly irritating background track of schmaltzy classical music, this is Sokurov at his shortest and most digestible.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

This is war as stalemate, with Aleksandr Burov's bleached images creating an alien landscape in which colour is as rare as compassion. Rarely has combat seemed so savage or futile.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Perhaps Sokurov's film will leave some viewers as weary as its protagonist, but this intimate and evocative journey through war is well worth taking.

September 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Here is what filmmaking looks like at its absolute best: a movie of bold and aggressive originality that expresses itself with the utmost delicacy.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

One of those pure films that's devoid of excess and overstatement...simple but searing.

July 29, 2008 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Interesting look at life in the Russian military, but to what purpose?

July 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

Clever scenario looks at the balance of power betwween age, sex, and nationality

July 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Audience Reviews for Aleksandra (Alexandra)

[font=Century Gothic]Previously with "Russian Ark," Alexander Sokurov had given a cinematic tour of the Hermitage that served as a lesson on Russian history. With his latest film, "Alexandra," Sokurov again gives a guided tour, this time of an army base in occupied territory, seen through the eyes of Alexandra(Galina Vishnevskaya), who is visiting her grandson(Vasily Shevtsov), a captain in the army. As she wanders through the army camp, she is shocked at the state of the soldiers. On the one hand, warfare is nothing new to Russia.(Assuming she is at least 80, then she must remember World War II. There is a quick flashback to reinforce this notion...) But what may separate this conflict(Probably Chechnya...) is that it is fought so close to home against an enemy that while fighting for independence, many consider still part of the mother country. In the end, this is a touching call for peace and for the soldiers to return home safety(All of the characters suffer from loneliness to one degree or another.) while rejecting the comic possibilities of the premise by filming in faded color.(Think about it this way. How many soldiers or officers would not become a laughingstock if their grandmother came to visit?)[/font]
April 7, 2008
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

    1. Alexandra Nikolaevna: Strenght doesn't lie in guns and one's hands.
    – Submitted by Jenny T (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Foreign Titles

  • Aleksandra (DE)
  • Alexandra (Aleksandra) (UK)
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