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Russian Dolls

4 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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(Sep 26, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Xavier is back! We find him 5 years after L'AUBERGE ESPAGNOLE - he is now thirty years old. An aspiring novelist, his greatest achievement is a co-credit on an over-the-top TV soap, and his romantic life is equally disappointing. He has one meaningless romantic encounter after another and lines up a confusing series of jobs related to writing - he's a little messed up . . . A chance meeting could be the answer to both his career and love life, but Xavier's lack of direction (and will-power) threatens to turn his good fortune into ultimate heartbreak. Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Cecile de France, and Kelly Reilly star.

Special Features

  • "The Making of Russian Dolls" featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Romain Duris, Kelly Reilly, Audrey Tautou, Cécile De France, Kevin Bishop
  • Directors: Cédric Klapisch
  • Writers: Cédric Klapisch
  • Producers: Bruno Levy, Elena Yatsura, Matthew Justice
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Ifc
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2006
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GBEWP2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,794 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Russian Dolls" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Cedric Klapisch's 2005 film LES POUPEES RUSSES is a sequel to his effort of three years before, L'AUBERGE ESPAGNOLE ("The Spanish Apartment"). It's a very different sort of story. While the first film centered on the zany camaraderie that developed between several European students in Barcelona, LES POUPEES RUSSES focuses on the lovelives of a selected few characters, though Klapisch does briefly reunite the cast of the Spanish apartment. This review assumes that the reader has already seen L'AUBERGE ESPAGNOLE, a fine film I do recommend.

As LES POUPEES RUSSES opens, Xavier is now thirty, making his living in Paris ghostwriting celebrity autobiographies and scripting soap operas, while the manuscript of his Barcelona novel languishes in neglect. He has gone through numerous relationships since his return from Spain, and wallows in self-pity with Isabelle and Martine, both still alone as well. After an exposition on the misery of these characters, the main plot is set into motion by two events. One is Xavier's commute to London to work on a script with Wendy, now a writer herself. The other is William's engagement to a Russian dancer and move to Saint Petersburg, where he invites all his friends for the wedding. Though I shall avoid spoilers here, I can say that it is through his involvement in these goings-on that Xavier finally finds the stability he was looking for.

Lars, Tobias, Soledad, and Alessando only appear in the Saint Petersburg scenes, and are granted only a few lines each. Though it is rather curious that these characters were brought for probably the most expensive filming in spite of their peripheral roles, the viewer feels no outrage that they get so little screen time.
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1 Comment 33 of 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Some of the reviewers here try too hard to find a depth that simply isn't in this funny movie. As the sequel to L'AUBERGE ESPAGNOLE (THE SPANISH APARTMENT), the cast is reunited, but not until the final scenes about the wedding in St. Petersburg between William (Kevin Bishop) and Natasha (Evguenya Obratztsova). The major portion of LES POUPEES RUSSES (RUSSIAN DOLLS) deals with Xavier's (Romain Duris) inability to find success as a serious writer and happiness in his unsuccessful search for true love, Wendy's (Kelly Reilly) involvement in a disastrous relationship with a verbally abusive alcoholic boyfriend, Isabelle's (Cecile de France) troubles with lesbian love interests, and Martine's (Audrey Tautou) problems with past lovers while raising her very young son. Each is looking for true love in all the wrong places. So many Russian Dolls within Russian Dolls. It is a movie that is more mature than L'AUBERGE ESPAGNOLE and more humorous and enjoyable for having grown up...just like Xavier. I recommend this movie highly.
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Format: Amazon Video
A lot of reviewers hate this movie because the main character is an annoying jerk. Some think this is because Romain Duris is a bad actor, but as a matter of fact, it is not because he is a bad actor, it is because he is a great actor for this role that people hate this character. Xavier is an egoist character that starts out as a selfish jerk that wants a girly girl princess for a girlfriend. It's a movie about Xavier's growth as a person, as a functioning adult. As the name suggests, he opens each new layer of his russian doll (his love life, life, etc, whatever you might think it is) thinking he needs more than this, only to discover that there is another layer. At the end, he finds the itty bitty russian doll inside all the other ones and tries to open it yet again in hopes of finding more, and fails. At that point he learns his very valuable lesson.
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Format: DVD
RUSSIAN DOLLS ('Les Poupées russes') is the full of love folllowup by Cédric Klapisch to his highly successful 2002 film 'L'Auberge Espagnole', the film that tossed multinational young people together in a Barcelona apartment and watched them interact and create some sense out of the havoc that was their lives. Klapisch has fine comic timing, a sense of spontaneity, and a cast lifted from his previous film - all ingredients for a fine little spin on current relationships. If the film is too much in love with itself, (the self-indulgent multiple split screen viewing and back and forth pacing tends to be a bit cutesy), in the end there is so much fun and wry wisdom to spread around that many of the holes in the script can be forgiven.

The story focuses on event five years after the Barcelona doings in 'L'Auberge Espagnole' and yet as the main character Xavier Rousseau (Romain Duris) narrates the current tale he finds the need for flashbacks to explain current circumstances. William (Kevin Bishop), the bigot from before who labeled roommate Tobias (Barnaby Metschurat) as a Nazi, has smoothed out a bit and in fact has found love in a Russian girl Natacha (Evguenya Obraztsova), a Russian ballet dancer who lives in St. Petersburg and the current story is supposed to be about their wedding in St. Petersburg which will also be a reunion for all the roommates from Barcelona. Xavier is a writer who is forced to be a ghostwriter for celebrities who want to publish memoirs because he has difficulty writing a silly television love series and is stuck in his writing of his own novel.
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Topic From this Discussion
I noticed no issues with subs. Some people unfamiliar with French probably do not realize that some dialogue is repeated and therefore not translated again in the subtitles because it was just translated. This avoids redundancy. Or maybe they just had a faulty copy.
Feb 21, 2008 by Gavin D. |  See all 2 posts
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