Envy of Gods | Chicago Reader

Envy of Gods

Vladimir Menshov (Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears) sets this corny, bittersweet romance in Moscow a few years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Sonya is a repressed, middle-aged news editor at the state-run television station who lives an unfulfilled life with her journalist husband and teenage son. Her personal and professional worlds are thrown into turmoil when she meets a French translator, who courts her relentlessly until she finally gives in and begins a passionate romance that she tries to hide from her husband and the KGB. Menshov's tale of doomed love seems awfully stale, and it's not helped by his penchant for outright hokum. The backdrop of political and social repression competes with scenes of impromptu dancing and lovemaking, accompanied by a lot of jaunty accordion music. I half expected someone on-screen to sigh, “C'est l'amour.” 132 min.

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