The Luzhin Defence Reviews

  • Nov 28, 2017

    Decent on its own merits, but as an adaptation of the Nabokov novel, it feels like the changes to the story resulted in the thematic and poetic elements of his insanity being lost in the translation to film.

    Decent on its own merits, but as an adaptation of the Nabokov novel, it feels like the changes to the story resulted in the thematic and poetic elements of his insanity being lost in the translation to film.

  • Jun 15, 2016

    well crafted historical/period drama that proves bobby fisher wasn't the first chess champ that was wack a doodle.

    well crafted historical/period drama that proves bobby fisher wasn't the first chess champ that was wack a doodle.

  • Dec 31, 2015

    Based on a Nabokov novel published in 1930, this film delves into the mind and soul of an obsessed chess player, and the love of a woman who sees him beyond the celebrated chess player he is. Emily Watson plays the role of a woman in love with a genuine human being; and not a more glamorous but ultimately shallow alternative.

    Based on a Nabokov novel published in 1930, this film delves into the mind and soul of an obsessed chess player, and the love of a woman who sees him beyond the celebrated chess player he is. Emily Watson plays the role of a woman in love with a genuine human being; and not a more glamorous but ultimately shallow alternative.

  • Jul 23, 2013

    Hauntingly beautiful film about a quiet genius unable to handle the practical side of life who finds love and understanding from a young socialite (played by the luminous Emily Watson). John Turturro delivers a stellar performance unlike anything I've ever seen him in before, and should have garnered a Best Actor nomination. It matters not if you like chess or not, this film is excellent!

    Hauntingly beautiful film about a quiet genius unable to handle the practical side of life who finds love and understanding from a young socialite (played by the luminous Emily Watson). John Turturro delivers a stellar performance unlike anything I've ever seen him in before, and should have garnered a Best Actor nomination. It matters not if you like chess or not, this film is excellent!

  • Jun 04, 2011

    "La défense Loujine"

    "La défense Loujine"

  • May 17, 2010

    All it takes, is someone to believe in you.

    All it takes, is someone to believe in you.

  • Mar 29, 2010

    Much more interesting than it sounds and driven by a strong central performance from John Turturro who should've at least received a nomination for the the Best Actor Oscar.

    Much more interesting than it sounds and driven by a strong central performance from John Turturro who should've at least received a nomination for the the Best Actor Oscar.

  • Feb 11, 2010

    It has a fairly standard structure to it and is a romance above everything else, but the chess angle adds a different and suprising element to the plot workthrough. It's easy to see why Turturro with his history of playing pyschological characters, why he was chosen to play the deteriorating in mind Luzhin.

    It has a fairly standard structure to it and is a romance above everything else, but the chess angle adds a different and suprising element to the plot workthrough. It's easy to see why Turturro with his history of playing pyschological characters, why he was chosen to play the deteriorating in mind Luzhin.

  • Dec 31, 2009

    THE LUZHIN DEFENCE A very good movie. An interesting story, funny and sweet in places, albeit disturbing in many aspects as well. It is based upon a novel by Vladimir Nabokov and concerns underlying themes of love and family, dysfunctional personalities and relationships, and vulnerable people. John Turturro gives an awesome performance as the deeply troubled genius and chess master Alexander Luzhin. Emily Watson was wonderful as the open-hearted young woman Natalia, somewhat overwhelmed as she finds herself the object of his sudden marital intentions. The entire film was shot on location. The story is set in Europe between the great wars and depicts period dress, manners and mores of the upper middle class bourgeoisie typical of that time. The action takes place at a high-brow Italian lakeside resort community where the unlikely couple first lay eyes on one another—is it love at first sight or something else entirely? The vacation resort is hosting a national chess tournament in which Alexander will be competing in a grueling challenge against a vanguard of eminent gaming professionals for top honors. In flashback we come to see and understand through his haunting memories the sources of Alexander’s past and present torments as he tries to remain focused and work out his winning strategies. As days go by and the chess match proceeds, the pressure mounts and questions abound. Will Alexander be able to withstand the enormous personal stress he is laboring under, not to mention certain devilish attempts to sabotage his play, and carry off a victory in the competition? Will Natalia’s ever-growing love will be strong enough to continue to nurture their budding relationship and ultimately save her precious Sasha’s (pet name) life? A great story. Solid entertainment. A rating of PG-13 seems about right for this film.

    THE LUZHIN DEFENCE A very good movie. An interesting story, funny and sweet in places, albeit disturbing in many aspects as well. It is based upon a novel by Vladimir Nabokov and concerns underlying themes of love and family, dysfunctional personalities and relationships, and vulnerable people. John Turturro gives an awesome performance as the deeply troubled genius and chess master Alexander Luzhin. Emily Watson was wonderful as the open-hearted young woman Natalia, somewhat overwhelmed as she finds herself the object of his sudden marital intentions. The entire film was shot on location. The story is set in Europe between the great wars and depicts period dress, manners and mores of the upper middle class bourgeoisie typical of that time. The action takes place at a high-brow Italian lakeside resort community where the unlikely couple first lay eyes on one another—is it love at first sight or something else entirely? The vacation resort is hosting a national chess tournament in which Alexander will be competing in a grueling challenge against a vanguard of eminent gaming professionals for top honors. In flashback we come to see and understand through his haunting memories the sources of Alexander’s past and present torments as he tries to remain focused and work out his winning strategies. As days go by and the chess match proceeds, the pressure mounts and questions abound. Will Alexander be able to withstand the enormous personal stress he is laboring under, not to mention certain devilish attempts to sabotage his play, and carry off a victory in the competition? Will Natalia’s ever-growing love will be strong enough to continue to nurture their budding relationship and ultimately save her precious Sasha’s (pet name) life? A great story. Solid entertainment. A rating of PG-13 seems about right for this film.

  • Nov 07, 2009

    Dicen que la historia es mas profunda, oscura y depresiva de lo que muestra esta pelicula, pero aun asi me conmovio bastante por tratarse de una vida genial y tragica

    Dicen que la historia es mas profunda, oscura y depresiva de lo que muestra esta pelicula, pero aun asi me conmovio bastante por tratarse de una vida genial y tragica