I was probably [i]far[/i] too tired for this movie, but here we go anyway.
Every time someone kisses Wallace Shawn on the top of his head in this, I think they're doing it for luck, like rubbing the tummy of a Buddha. Every time he goes to kiss Julianne Moore, I think how creepy I would find it to be kissed by Wallace Shawn. Yuck!
I [i]like[/i] Wallace Shawn, of course. I think he does an outstanding job in this movie, and now I want even more to see [i]My Dinner With Andre[/i], but he's still, well, Vizzini. It doesn't matter that he's got, like, 100 things on his IMDB filmography. In my head, he's saying, "Inconceivable!"
I've never read Chekhov. I've meant to, gods know, but I haven't. As I've mentioned, my list of books to read never gets shorter, no matter how much I read. In fact, it's actually getting longer; I can't keep up. (Though I may, one of these days when I haven't watched a movie, do an entry on books I recommend that [i]haven't[/i] been made into movies.) I'll probably read [i]Uncle Vanya[/i] first. But until then, my primary mental association with Chekhov is [i]The Fifth Elephant[/i], where Ambassador Vimes runs full tilt into a farm owned by three Chekhovian characters; they give him the trousers that are the title of tonight's entry.
My personal theory of Russian literature is that Russian winters are long; they write long, intense works of literature and read long, intense works of literature. Everything I've read on the subject indicates that Chekhov fits squarely into this pattern.
Interestingly, two of the women in this movie have also appeared in films featuring the character of Hannibal Lecter. Julianne Moore, who does a wonderful turn here as Yelena, was Clarice in [i]Hannibal[/i], and Brooke Smith--the intense Sonya--was Catherine Martin, Buffalo Bill's attempted final victim in [i]Silence of the Lambs[/i]. It doesn't mean anything, of course; it's merely one of the odder quirks of casting.
Oh, someone tried to post three comments today that were strings of URL code that don't seem to show anything when posted. Anyone know what's up with that?