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The Death of Stalin

Everybody wants a piece 

Year: 2017 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Armando Iannucci 
Starring: Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend  
An image from The Death of Stalin

From the creator of Alan Partridge, The Thick of It, and Veep, comes The Death of Stalin, a darkly comic political satire about the struggle for power in the aftermath of USSR leader Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953.

The Death of Stalin benefits from an exceptionally talented all-star cast. Steve Buscemi and Simon Russell Beale star as rivals Nikita Khrushchev and Lavrentiy Beria, who race to win support among members of the Central Committee and outdo each other in evermore-ridiculous ways in an effort to secure control of the country. Rupert Friend and Andrea Riseborough are great as Stalin’s children, while Jason Isaacs, of Lucius Malfoy fame, steals every scene he’s in as General Georgy Zhukov. Paddy Considine and Monty Python’s Michael Palin also stand out in their smaller roles.

Thanks to some very good writing, the film manages to be incredibly funny, with at least a laugh a minute, while not losing sight of the horrific atrocities either committed or sanctioned by some of the main characters throughout the film. As is typical of Armando Iannucci’s work, some of the film’s best moments consist of farcical yet believable interactions between the inhabitants of the corridors of power. Some creative license is employed, so anyone hoping for a strict interpretation of the facts of history might be disappointed.

The Death of Stalin is a brilliant film featuring some outstanding acting and writing, and is sure to leave you entertained.

Iain Walker

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Screenings of this film:

2017/2018 Spring Term (digital)