Time Out says
To be fair, much of this is played as bumbling comedy, but while laughter at the expense of Soviet apparatchiks, snooty French arts administrators and boozy Russian ensembles on tour is fair enough, the broad treatment of Andrei’s Romany ‘fixer’ and his light-fingered cohorts proves more uncomfortable. As the high-jinks begin to drag, director Radu Mihaileanu gamely shovels on old-fashioned melodrama, since the conductor’s also driven by the redemptive prospect of salving painful family wounds. Thankfully, Mélanie Laurent’s persuasive contribution as a glam violin soloist comes as a welcome break from Guskov’s one-note Russian melancholy, while the crisply shot climactic performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto musters enough dash to mask previous failings of credibility, taste and coherence. Resounding applause notwithstanding, there’s still much here that’s simply off-key.