×

Tale in the Darkness

A lonely, lovelorn femme cop mopes around a seaside town for a blessedly brief 77 minutes.

With:
With: Alisa Khazanova, Boris Kamorzin, Yuri Safarov, Dmitri Podnozov.

A lonely, lovelorn femme cop mopes around a seaside town for a blessedly brief 77 minutes in the Russian drama “Tale in the Darkness.” Although strong-featured lead thesp Alisa Khazanova proves watchable throughout, helmer Nikolai Khomeriki’s second feature has little more going for it than the fact that it’s more accessible than his last, the obscure and soporific sci-fi squib “Nine Seven Seven.” Pic’s lousy international title makes it sound like a straight-to-ancillary horror movie, which may prove to be its only chance of earning coin offshore if buyers and auds pick it up by accident.

Although attractive and kind-hearted, policewoman Gelya (Khazanova) can’t seem to get a break. She works with abused and neglected kids, but despite her efforts to be nice, the tykes are just as mean to her as they are to her colleagues. Lovers run when they learn she’s a cop, and no one will even be her partner for a dancing class, apart from creepy flatfoot Dimych (Boris Kamorzin). Oblique script offers little character insight. It’s like a miserablist “Bridget Jones” in Russian, but with a skinny heroine and no laughs. Craft contributions are unremarkable.

Popular on Variety

Tale in the Darkness

Russia

Production: A Koktebel Film Co. production. (International sales: Koktebel, Moscow.) Produced by Roman Borisevich, Alexander Kushaev. Co-producer, Elena Kulikova. Directed by Nikolai Khomeriki. Screenplay, Alexander Rodionov, Khomeriki.

Crew: Camera (color, Super 16-to-35mm), Alisher Khamidkhodzhaev; editor, Dasha Danilova; production designer, Liudmila Diupina; costume designer, Elena Baenko. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 21, 2009. Original title: Skazka pro Temnotu. Running time: 77 MIN.

With: With: Alisa Khazanova, Boris Kamorzin, Yuri Safarov, Dmitri Podnozov.

More Film

  • Lucy-Lost

    Cartoon Forum: 30th Anniversary, Little Giants and New Generations

    TOULOUSE, France –  Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Cartoon Forum wrapped Sept. 19 having showcased the ever-growing strength of European animation. 85 projects were pitched from 24 countries at the co-production forum platform that played host to north of 1,000 investors, distributors and producers – a record number. Falling on French-speaking Belgium – Wallonie-Bruxelles – whose [...]

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • 'Downton Abbey' Music Gets 'Bigger, Better,

    As 'Downton Abbey' Hits the Silver Screen, the Music, Too, Gets 'Bigger, Better, Grander'

    When “Downton Abbey” fans hear that familiar strings-and-piano theme, a Pavlovian response ensues: Get to the television immediately, because you don’t want to miss a minute of the addictive Crawley family melodrama to follow. This week, with the “Downton Abbey” movie reaching theaters on Friday, fans can’t wait for their fix of Lady Mary and [...]

  • 45 Seconds of Laughter

    Film Review: '45 Seconds of Laughter'

    “Everyone is worth more than their worst act,” said Roman Catholic sister and anti-death penalty advocate Helen Prejean, and it’s with these words that “45 Seconds of Laughter” closes. It’s an apt sentiment on which to leave Tim Robbins’ sincerely felt documentary study of the therapeutic acting workshops run by his own theater company in [...]

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews Selected for AFI's Life Achievement Award

    The American Film Institute Board of Trustees has selected Julie Andrews as the recipient of the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Andrews on April 25 in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be telecast on TNT. “Julie Andrews is practically perfect in every way,” said Kathleen Kennedy, chair of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content