A Room and a Half - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Room and a Half Reviews

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May 13, 2013
A difficult one. We watched it because of the glowing review in the Guardian - but it took three sessions for us to get through the two hours of movie. It's mainly about Brodsky's relationship with his parents, and about being a Russian Jew in Stalinist Leningrad. The Sixties scenes were the most exciting - the War gets very little airtime here. Sadly the poetry is declaimed sonorously in Russian, and I couldn't get any appreciation of it via the English subtitles. The cartoony bits were fun and there are some nice comic touches. I think a Russian audience would get far more out of it than we did.
½ February 9, 2012
In terms of style this is an impressive piece of visual art, but it is not backed up by a subject matter that desperately requires some energy.
December 15, 2011
Beautiful film, particularly moving and poignant.
October 30, 2011
A poetic and artistic movie...a kind of biography sketched with excerpts from the poets life...but concentrating on certain memories which is the essence of life for most of us,mainly our childhood and the 'Nest' as the poet likes to call it..loved the conversations with the parents lending a surreal feel and the cartoon depictions which formed an essence of his memories..humorous yet touching...I think a must watch for all..be patient and watch it through
September 5, 2011
Maybe I needed to be familiar with Brodsky to get it.
½ February 11, 2011
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May 18, 2010
The movie depicts part of Joseph Brodsky's life, a well-known Russian and Jewish poet. He was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972 and won a Nobel Prize in the west. The actual story of Brodsky also reflects the terrible political and social contexts of the Soviet Union. It is not a biography as the film fantasises about Brodsky's deep desire to go back to Russia, to his home city St Petersburg and to see his beloved parents one last time. As it is well described in the movie, we all try to escape from our parents' nest, and years later we all struggle to feel the same secure feelings of the nest we had wanted to escape from. A deeply moving film mixing reality and fantasy, very well interpreted, and conveying the suffocating atmosphere of the Soviet Union while showing love and tenderness. A must-see film.
½ May 8, 2010
Hate it, never really got this movie.
Super Reviewer
May 8, 2010
With enough cats and Communism to fill ten Chris Marker films, "A Room and a Half" may seem on the surface like just another coming of age movie that overstays its welcome. And while that's certainly true to an extent, it's what is going on in the background that is the most compelling.

On a long sea voyage back to St. Petersburg(instead of Leningrad, which it was called when he left) after decades in exile, perpetually homesick poet Joseph Brodsky(Grigoriy Dityatkovskiy) thinks back to his childhood. A lot of the movie is told from that vantage point, when he gleans partial truths from overheard conversations that make no sense to a child at the time, while alerting us to the dark side of life in the Soviet Union at the same time. And his family is treated even worse since they are Jewish. As a child, he has a vivid imagination and fantasy life that is occasionally animated, just as the reality of the Soviet Union never matches the fantasy put forward by its leaders. He grows up, just as Stalin's reign ends and the people grow up, too, when they openly learn the crimes of the state. Ironically, that's when Brodsky gets into the most trouble.

In the end, it would probably have helped if I was familiar with some of Brodsky's work. And I was surprised to find that somebody was kicked out of the Soviet Union. I had always thought they did their best fo forcibly keep people from leaving.
March 14, 2010
I was left speechless. Wow.
½ January 31, 2010
GIFF 2010. Vacker, poetisk, långsam. Väldigt långsam.
½ January 8, 2010
It may be 'old-fashioned' to some people, but it's beautifully made. Changes in period are reflected in lensing styles, and the musical choices span from Bach, Scriabin and Zarah Leander with each piece beautifully attuned to the mood.
December 29, 2009
whats this movie about?
December 4, 2009
My movie of the year!
November 14, 2009
Great animation and fantastic use of aesthetic tools. The story is lineal and the main character is not strong enough towards the end. But is a delight to watch the fantasy of one of the masters of russian animation in his poetic world.
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