the death of stalin trailer

Armando Iannucci, the profane genius responsible for Veep and In the Loop, has already had his way with American and English politics. So naturally, he’s set his sights elsewhere with his latest project, The Death of Stalin. As the title implies, the film takes place in the Soviet Union and tracks what goes down with the nation’s inner circle of politicians and military leaders following the death of dictator Joseph Stalin in 1953. Things get funny. And things get dark. And things get sobering. And then they somehow get funny again. It’s one of those kinds of movies.

The new The Death of Stalin trailer has arrived and wouldn’t you know it? It features a quote from /Film’s own Chris Evangelista.

The Death of Stalin announces its satiric intent from its earliest moments. Despite an aesthetic attention to historic detail, the stacked cast of character actors (including Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs, Jeffrey Tambor, and Michael Palin) use their natural American and British accents. Despite the fact that the film generally follows the actual events that went down following Stalin’s demise, the characters bicker and whine like children and trade foul-mouthed barbs that feel hilariously modern. It’s all very silly…until it isn’t. Because Iannucci may be a comic genius, but he’s also a realist and refuses to turn away when things get truly grim.

The Death of Stalin Trailer

It’s this point that Chris emphasizes in his review from the Toronto Film Festival:

But The Death of Stalin feels different than those previous Iannucci titles. Iannucci directs the film with a far more cinematic eye than he has before, coupled with dreary yet stunning cinematography from Zac Nicholson. Also setting this apart from Iannucci’s previous work is the fact that he’s telling a story about real historical figures, which only increases the overall darkness of the material. There are an abundance of horrors here – innocent people rounded up and murdered, threats of torture, and more; and while Iannucci finds ways to make these massacres morbidly amusing by the way he shoots them (they’re often taking place in the backgrounds of mundane conversations), the reality slowly begins to set in: this is crazy and it actually happened.

I saw The Death of Stalin at Fantastic Fest and it was a shocking experience. When you’re not gasping with laugher, you’re gasping in shock. Knowing that the film is largely historically accurate makes it all the more audacious and terrifying and yes, even hilarious.

IFC Films will release The Death of Stalin on March 9, 2018. You’ll want to see this one.

The one-liners fly as fast as political fortunes fall in this uproarious, wickedly irreverent satire from Armando Iannucci (Veep, In the Loop). Moscow, 1953: when tyrannical dictator Joseph Stalin drops dead, his parasitic cronies square off in a frantic power struggle to be the next Soviet leader. Among the contenders are the dweeby Georgy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor), the wily Nikita Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi), and the sadistic secret police chief Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russell Beale). But as they bumble, brawl, and backstab their way to the top, just who is running the government? Combining palace intrigue with rapid-fire farce, this audacious comedy is a bitingly funny takedown of bureaucratic dysfunction performed to the hilt by a sparkling ensemble cast.

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