Leave the cannoli, take the movies

Review Blog


Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on March 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM


Ernst Lubitsch


IDEA:   A Russian woman is sent to Paris to ensure the transaction of some pricey Soviet jewelry goes through. While she's there, a kind Parisian count begins to break her tough exterior.

BLURB:   Greta Garbo is hilariously poker-faced, then positively luminous, in this classic romantic/political romp, in which her stoic Soviet envoy and a trio of impressionable emissaries clash with the capitalistic ideals of the City of Light. Lubitsch directs with a typically light, playful touch, and thankfully that extends itself to the politics too. Not taking sides or easily antagonizing the Russians, his approach feels empathetically balanced, willing to jibe capitalism’s more corrupting attributes against the already quite obvious shortcomings of communism. While the sociopolitical banter is happily blithe, if not slightly outdated, the dominant joys of Ninotchka come from Garbo’s archly deadpan quips, so perfectly suited to her lips.

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