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Georg

A decidedly old-fashioned Estonian-Finnish-Russian drama, told with a cast of hundreds and lush production values to match, "Georg" recounts the life and times of Estonian baritone Georg Ots, a hugely popular singing star during the Cold War.

A decidedly old-fashioned Estonian-Finnish-Russian drama, told with a cast of hundreds and lush production values to match, “Georg” recounts the life and times of Estonian baritone Georg Ots, a hugely popular singing star during the Cold War. Marko Matvere is fine, if low on charisma, as the eponymous Georg, while Russian starlet Anastasiya Makeyeva steals the movie as his often-sozzled wife. Helming by Peeter Simm (“Fed Up!”) is undistinguished but probably not to blame for the fact that pic has only bowed, without impact, in Estonia and Finland.

Perhaps because Makeyeva makes for such a compelling onscreen presence, the screenplay weirdly assigns her character Asta the narrator’s role, even when she should logically drop out of the story two-thirds in and isn’t present at many of the scenes she describes. Nevertheless, pic shows how Georg (Matvere) survived WWII and used his position with the Communist Party to launch a successful singing career that helped him travel throughout the Eastern Bloc and Finland. When Asta’s drinking becomes too much of an embarrassment, she’s shed, but not before Makeyeva gets a chance to chew some scenery. All tech departments do pro work.

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Georg

Estonia - Finland - Russia

  • Production: A Lege Artis Film, Allfilm (Estonia)/Matila Rohr Prods. (Finland)/National Central National Film (Russia) production, in association with Estonian Film Foundation, Venemaa Foderaalne Kultuuri -- ja Filmiagenturr, Eesti Kultuurkapital, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Eesti Television. (International sales: Estonian Film Foundation, Tallinn, Estonia.) Produced by Marten Kross, Ivo Felt, Sergei Zemov, Ilkka Matila. Directed by Peeter Simm. Screenplay, Mati Poldre, Aleksandr Borodjanski, Mihkel Ulmani, Simm.
  • Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Rein Kotov; music, Yuri Poteyenko; editor, Liina Trishkina; production designer, Kalju Kivi, Eugen Tamberg; costume designer, Mare Raidma. Estonian, Russian, Finnish dialogue. (In Black Nights Film Festival, Tallinn, Estonia -- Baltic Event.) Reviewed on DVD, Hoveton, U.K., Dec. 28, 2007. Running time: 104 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Marko Matvere, Anastasiya Makeyeva, Renars Kaupers, Elle Kull, Tonu Kark, Mirtel Pohla, Karin Toart, Rein Oja, Aleksandr Okunev.
  • Music By: