The Kreutzer Sonata

Film, Drama
0 Love It
Save it
The Kreutzer Sonata
British director Bernard Rose (‘Anna Karenina’, ‘Ivansxtc’) continues his ongoing Tolstoy project with this low-budget, DV spin on the Russian’s banned 1889 novella of  sexual jealousy and rage. Much is familiar from 2000’s ‘Ivansxtc’: Danny Huston again plays a louche, wealthy Los Angeles native (minus the cocaine and call-girls), while Rose again adopts a handheld shooting style, filming in upscale locations and using only available light. This portrait of the Californian rich and powerful is much less savage than ‘Ivansxtc’, although again the rolling timbre of Huston’s voice and the crafty smile on his face are reason alone to see the film.

Huston plays Edgar, a paranoid husband who suspects that his wife, Abby (Elisabeth Röhm) – a lapsed pianist and mother of his kids – is having an affair with Aiden (Matthew Yang King),  a violinist with whom she agrees to perform Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer Sonata’ at a fundraising event at their lavish home . Rose intercuts Huston’s impetuous behaviour as his imagination runs wild and his anger escalates with flashbacks of his earlier, happier relationship with his wife.

The film’s looseness – many lines feel improvised, as does the camerawork – is mostly attractive and matches Huston’s charming, easy presence. The tragedy, when it comes, might not feel as poignant or significant as ‘Ivansxtc’, but this is a fun dose of literary soap opera with some likeable performances, including a cameo from Huston’s sister, Anjelica, and some authentically racy sex scenes to mark the first throes of Edgar and Abby’s love affair.

By: Dave Calhoun


Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday March 12 2010
Duration: 99 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Bernard Rose
Cast: Danny Huston
Elisabeth Röhm
Matthew Yang King

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Crappy movie. Calculating director Rose tries to gain viewers with gratuitous sex and violence

This is a well constructed story of slow smouldering jealousy, eating away at our hero Edgar (Houston) who’s very much in love with his pianist wife. She, on the other hand, is enjoying “life again� after two children, and forms a close working friendship with a violinist introduced by her Edgar. Early in the story, and by his own admission, Edgar reveals his promiscuity prior to his relationship with his wife, and possibly because of his past he reads more into his wife’s friendship with the violinist than is there. . The intimacy of hand-held cameras, soft lighting, and regular use of grainy photography make the viewer feel very involved in the story. I enjoyed Danny Houston’s narration – it felt like a friend revealing the intimacies of a relationship about which I’d always wondered. The repetition of his thoughts leave you in no doubt about his obsession with the violinist and his wife. . A very fine performance from Danny Houston (and the rest of the cast). Albeit briefly, it was great to see Danny acting alongside Anjelica. . The language and frequent very explicit sexual acts might make you think twice about taking your mum. I’d suggest taking mum to something else – go see this film without her - it’s very good, and has a fantastic twist at the end. I'm giving this film 4 stars - it's worth it.