Reviews

  • Apr 27, 2022

    I have not given this five stars simply because it is a hard watch and tbh if I had known what it is like I probably would not have gone to see it. But if the evidence of a good film is one that stays with you, this is it. Everyone in the film is damaged by the War in different ways and everyone is searching for love to heal themselves. Iva seeks love from Masha, who can only find it in a child. Sasha also seeks love from Masha but he is naive. The other important character is Nikolai the Medical Director, like Iva a profoundly decent person trying to do his best in very difficult circumstances. This is definitely not to everyone's taste as among other things it js quite slow and long. And l have to say l found Masha much more interesting than Iva. A real survivor.

    I have not given this five stars simply because it is a hard watch and tbh if I had known what it is like I probably would not have gone to see it. But if the evidence of a good film is one that stays with you, this is it. Everyone in the film is damaged by the War in different ways and everyone is searching for love to heal themselves. Iva seeks love from Masha, who can only find it in a child. Sasha also seeks love from Masha but he is naive. The other important character is Nikolai the Medical Director, like Iva a profoundly decent person trying to do his best in very difficult circumstances. This is definitely not to everyone's taste as among other things it js quite slow and long. And l have to say l found Masha much more interesting than Iva. A real survivor.

  • Feb 27, 2022

    Two characters in the squalor and misery of post-war Leningrad communicate mostly by scowling and staring at the floor in each other’s presence, while awful, depressing things happen and they make additional awful life decisions. The painfully slow pacing may be intended to make the viewer feel the misery more immediately, and if so, it works.

    Two characters in the squalor and misery of post-war Leningrad communicate mostly by scowling and staring at the floor in each other’s presence, while awful, depressing things happen and they make additional awful life decisions. The painfully slow pacing may be intended to make the viewer feel the misery more immediately, and if so, it works.

  • Nov 13, 2021

    Spoilers: Vasilia is so luminous yet war-ravaged, and pale Viktoria is so languidly genuine yet damaged by war. By the numbers, when the Germans ran a WWII siege of Leningrad that lasted 872 days, a million in the city died, most by starvation, as food was largely cut off. And many more fled, so that the city was largely depopulated. This is what is troubling these people, as they try to resume or rebuild lives, as wounded are still dying and the survivors may be worse off than the dead, psychologically as well as in coming by food, and electricity blackouts are common. Iya keeps freezing up, as these people say, going into minicatatonic episodes, and none seem to be shocked by it happening as they've seen it before -- what we'd attribute now to PTSD. One cost the young child his life, as Iya was caring for him yet inadvertently suffocated him. At her hospital job, she had a series of euthanasia jobs, as her doctor boss kept asking her to do it to those who no longer wanted to live. When the best thing you can do for someone is inject him out, it takes a toll on you. And when Masha, the soldier mother of the dead boy, returns, she finds her boy gone, and wants Iya to have a child for her, and extorts her and Iya's boss into sleeping with Iya just to get her pregnant. In the all-time meet the boyfriend's upscale government service parents dinner from hell, Masha reveals she is sterile after abortions and had slept with a series of soldiers, as sort of campfire Annies too served the USSR, and were not fighters at all. And her boyfirend's mother says her son is too soft to get through any hard times with her, as he storms out of the dining room, and the relationship with Masha disintegrates on the spot. Everyone at the dining table knew everyone else was telling the hard truths, which was actually refreshing. So Masha and Iya, living in one small apartment, conclude they have only one life-affirming dream and path to carry them on -- Iya having a baby the two could raise together, which, though unrealized, is the high note of a narrative of bleakness. Detail was rich, and the plotting and script were inventive, and the acting, superb. The term beanpole referred to tall, thin Iya, who was called that. But it is layered, as a beanpole is just a tall pole with no meat on it. And that is what was left of Leningrad, as the whole surviving population had to rebuild life, commerce, infrastructure, sufficiency of all sorts, as well as the just as important inner lives of dreams, hopes, ambitions and directions of the people. An interesting and unusual take. Living without war is way better than picking up the pieces after war. Bravo!

    Spoilers: Vasilia is so luminous yet war-ravaged, and pale Viktoria is so languidly genuine yet damaged by war. By the numbers, when the Germans ran a WWII siege of Leningrad that lasted 872 days, a million in the city died, most by starvation, as food was largely cut off. And many more fled, so that the city was largely depopulated. This is what is troubling these people, as they try to resume or rebuild lives, as wounded are still dying and the survivors may be worse off than the dead, psychologically as well as in coming by food, and electricity blackouts are common. Iya keeps freezing up, as these people say, going into minicatatonic episodes, and none seem to be shocked by it happening as they've seen it before -- what we'd attribute now to PTSD. One cost the young child his life, as Iya was caring for him yet inadvertently suffocated him. At her hospital job, she had a series of euthanasia jobs, as her doctor boss kept asking her to do it to those who no longer wanted to live. When the best thing you can do for someone is inject him out, it takes a toll on you. And when Masha, the soldier mother of the dead boy, returns, she finds her boy gone, and wants Iya to have a child for her, and extorts her and Iya's boss into sleeping with Iya just to get her pregnant. In the all-time meet the boyfriend's upscale government service parents dinner from hell, Masha reveals she is sterile after abortions and had slept with a series of soldiers, as sort of campfire Annies too served the USSR, and were not fighters at all. And her boyfirend's mother says her son is too soft to get through any hard times with her, as he storms out of the dining room, and the relationship with Masha disintegrates on the spot. Everyone at the dining table knew everyone else was telling the hard truths, which was actually refreshing. So Masha and Iya, living in one small apartment, conclude they have only one life-affirming dream and path to carry them on -- Iya having a baby the two could raise together, which, though unrealized, is the high note of a narrative of bleakness. Detail was rich, and the plotting and script were inventive, and the acting, superb. The term beanpole referred to tall, thin Iya, who was called that. But it is layered, as a beanpole is just a tall pole with no meat on it. And that is what was left of Leningrad, as the whole surviving population had to rebuild life, commerce, infrastructure, sufficiency of all sorts, as well as the just as important inner lives of dreams, hopes, ambitions and directions of the people. An interesting and unusual take. Living without war is way better than picking up the pieces after war. Bravo!

  • Aug 01, 2021

    Filme pesado, o título não traduz toda a dureza da guerra, a busca incessante das duas mulheres pela sobrevivência e realização pessoal numa época machista e cruel, degringolada pela fome da pós guerra, e aliado a todo esse drama, a Mulher Alta sofre de congelamento pós concussão e Masha histerectomia, o que a torna incompleta apos a perda do filho (que eu podia juras que não foi acidente), cores quentes, contrastando com a frieza da gerra, drama excepcional, roteiro inteligente e original...

    Filme pesado, o título não traduz toda a dureza da guerra, a busca incessante das duas mulheres pela sobrevivência e realização pessoal numa época machista e cruel, degringolada pela fome da pós guerra, e aliado a todo esse drama, a Mulher Alta sofre de congelamento pós concussão e Masha histerectomia, o que a torna incompleta apos a perda do filho (que eu podia juras que não foi acidente), cores quentes, contrastando com a frieza da gerra, drama excepcional, roteiro inteligente e original...

  • Jul 17, 2021

    We enjoyed the movie. Great performance of the two main actress. Specials sense of colors, with red and green dominating. Long but capturing the attention all the time. very realistic.

    We enjoyed the movie. Great performance of the two main actress. Specials sense of colors, with red and green dominating. Long but capturing the attention all the time. very realistic.

  • Jun 30, 2021

    An exquisite film that reminds us of cinema's capacity to move us.

    An exquisite film that reminds us of cinema's capacity to move us.

  • Feb 13, 2021

    I really don't get the point (if there's one) nor the relationship between the characters, however its distinct and picturesque style is interesting enough.

    I really don't get the point (if there's one) nor the relationship between the characters, however its distinct and picturesque style is interesting enough.

  • Jan 29, 2021

    I will give it a 3 based on the fact that others think it was artistically relevant. I could not watch past the first - about 15-20 minutes - the subject matter was horribly depressing, and I am not easily affected in that way. Ugh.

    I will give it a 3 based on the fact that others think it was artistically relevant. I could not watch past the first - about 15-20 minutes - the subject matter was horribly depressing, and I am not easily affected in that way. Ugh.

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    Alec B Super Reviewer
    Jan 28, 2021

    Mostly impressed that, given the subject matter, this thing isn't just a parade of misery for its own sake.

    Mostly impressed that, given the subject matter, this thing isn't just a parade of misery for its own sake.

  • Nate Z Super Reviewer
    Jan 16, 2021

    Deeply depressing but empathetic to a fault, Beanpole might just be the most artistically uncomfortable movie of the year. It's a Russian film set in Leningrad one year after World War II and the consequences of that awful conflict. Iya (Viktoria Miroshnichenko), our "beanpole," fought in the war until her PTSD got too bad; she literally freezes in place like a statue when triggered. She's working in a hospital and looking after her best friend's child when tragedy strikes. That friend, Masha (Vasilisa Perelygina), desperately wants another child but cannot get pregnant. She pressures Iya to become her surrogate womb, and Iya feels so guilty that she agrees. From there, Beanpole chronicles the pain of not just these women but a pall that hangs over the nation, as people try to return to a normal that begs questioning whether it ever existed. It's about hurt people lashing out and hurting others, some intentional and some unintentional. A coerced sex scene (a.k.a. rape) between Iya, a blackmailed but kindly middle-aged doctor, and Masha is immediately troublesome and yet thanks to the careful consideration of co-writer/director Kantemir Balagov, you can understand the motivation that lead each to being there. Masha is setup as the villain of the second half, knowingly guilting and pressuring Iya, taking away her agency, bullying her, and then there's an extended scene toward the end where Masha meets the wealthy parents of her fledgling boyfriend. She reveals the lengths she would go to survive life during wartime as a woman soldier in a predominantly male encampment. It might not be enough to reverse your stance on her as a person but it definitely complicates your understanding. The whole movie is about people doing what they need to in an unjust world to survive. Beanpole opens up into a larger mosaic of condemnation about how women are treated by society, and each member of this tale is a victim in their own way, with their own story and own past and own demons, even the cruel ones. Beanpole has a gorgeous use of color, a deliberative sense of pacing, and outstanding acting that feels completely natural. It's also, as mentioned, super depressing and hard for me to fathom many that will be eager to be this uncomfortable. For those courageous enough, you might find a beauty in the dignity of these women navigating post-war trauma and resilience. Nate's Grade: B

    Deeply depressing but empathetic to a fault, Beanpole might just be the most artistically uncomfortable movie of the year. It's a Russian film set in Leningrad one year after World War II and the consequences of that awful conflict. Iya (Viktoria Miroshnichenko), our "beanpole," fought in the war until her PTSD got too bad; she literally freezes in place like a statue when triggered. She's working in a hospital and looking after her best friend's child when tragedy strikes. That friend, Masha (Vasilisa Perelygina), desperately wants another child but cannot get pregnant. She pressures Iya to become her surrogate womb, and Iya feels so guilty that she agrees. From there, Beanpole chronicles the pain of not just these women but a pall that hangs over the nation, as people try to return to a normal that begs questioning whether it ever existed. It's about hurt people lashing out and hurting others, some intentional and some unintentional. A coerced sex scene (a.k.a. rape) between Iya, a blackmailed but kindly middle-aged doctor, and Masha is immediately troublesome and yet thanks to the careful consideration of co-writer/director Kantemir Balagov, you can understand the motivation that lead each to being there. Masha is setup as the villain of the second half, knowingly guilting and pressuring Iya, taking away her agency, bullying her, and then there's an extended scene toward the end where Masha meets the wealthy parents of her fledgling boyfriend. She reveals the lengths she would go to survive life during wartime as a woman soldier in a predominantly male encampment. It might not be enough to reverse your stance on her as a person but it definitely complicates your understanding. The whole movie is about people doing what they need to in an unjust world to survive. Beanpole opens up into a larger mosaic of condemnation about how women are treated by society, and each member of this tale is a victim in their own way, with their own story and own past and own demons, even the cruel ones. Beanpole has a gorgeous use of color, a deliberative sense of pacing, and outstanding acting that feels completely natural. It's also, as mentioned, super depressing and hard for me to fathom many that will be eager to be this uncomfortable. For those courageous enough, you might find a beauty in the dignity of these women navigating post-war trauma and resilience. Nate's Grade: B