The Kreutzer Sonata

Movies, Drama
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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

Cast and crew

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