This slightly disappointing, often flat and asynchronous biopic of the great Latvian director (1898-1948) tracks Eisenstein from 1922, when he joined Meyerhold's theatre group, to his heart attack in 1945, following Stalin's disapproval of the second part of Ivan the Terrible. Théâtre de Complicité's Simon McBurney makes the great Eraserhead-haired one into an impish adolescent and slightly otherworldly figure, teasing in his relationship with his chief assistant Grisha Alexandrov (Coulthard, with the look of Jean Marais), obsessive in his constant drawing. But he fails to suggest the figure who could command respect and attract crowds with Griffith-like authority. Fine camerawork, notably in the Mexico locations, but the script cannot accommodate the competing demands of historical detail and dramatic thrust.
Cast and crew