Top positive review
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odd and beautiful
on November 10, 2002
"...for Ilia Ilyich, lying down was neither a necessity, as it is for a sick man, nor an occasional need, as it is for one who is tired. It was his normal state".
Based on the classic novel by Ivan Goncharov, this is a strange but fascinating film about lethargy as a form of escape, as the melancholy Ilia Ilyich Oblomov (in a wonderful performance by Oleg Tabakov) avoids his problems by sleeping, while his world crumbles around him. His avoidance of making decisions gets complicateed when a childhood friend introduces him to Olga (Elena Solovei).
Written (along with Alexander Adabashian), and directed by Nikita Mikhalkov ("Burnt by the Sun", "Anna"), it has gorgeous cinematography by Pavel Lebeshev, who makes some scenes have the look of old paintings.
If you like your films with a lot of action, this one is not for you, and perhaps its delicacy makes it a "woman's film", though it is a thoughtful, and sometimes very funny film...the scene where Oblomov finds out about the older suitor is hilarious.
This is one that is worthy of several viewings, as it explores Oblomov's fear, his love, the simplicity/complexity of his life. There is a lovabale innocence about him that is endearing, and the end always touches me deeply, with its exquisite Rachmaninov choral piece...a fitting ending to this lovely work of art.