Two Women | Chicago Reader

Two Women

104 minutes 2014

A fine ensemble cast anchors this genteel Russian period drama (2014), which was adapted from Ivan Turgenev's 1855 play A Month in the Country. It takes place at the rural estate of a middle-aged landowner, whose bored wife (Anna Vartanyan) occupies herself by closely overseeing the lives of her young son and adopted teenage daughter. Tension develops when the wife realizes she's attracted to her son's tutor, also an object of fascination for the daughter; meanwhile an old friend of the family (Ralph Fiennes), who's staying at the estate for the summer, begins to fall for the wife. Director Vera Glagoleva handles the various intrigues with emotional precision, conveying the characters' complex mental states through subtle gestures. The film may be too subtle for its own good, in fact; the surface tone never varies, and the drama comes to feel monotonous. In Russian with subtitles.

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