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Old 05-03-2009, 06:57 AM   #1
pro-bassoonist pro-bassoonist is online now
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Jul 2007
Russia La traductrice (Russia)

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy:
In the first of our reviews from the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Danny finds that there's something lost in translation with La Traductrice...

My first film of the festival was the UK premiere of Elena Hazanov's La Traductrice (The Interpreter) a Swiss/Russian thriller that, while not exactly thrilling, was a showcase for excellent actors. We follow Ira (Julia Batanova), a Genevan student haunted by the spectre of the father that she and her mother left behind in Russia. When a family friend (a charismatic Sergei Garmash) offers her a job as a translator for incapacitated mobster Tashkov, Ira is drawn back to
Russia and into danger.

Hazanov's second feature contains some gorgeous scenes and, in particular, some wonderful photography (kudos to Igor Kozhevnikov), but the problem with La Traductrice is that it just seems ull, offering mere embers when you are teased with the promise of flames.

The theme of familial responsibility is explored, but not thoroughly enough to make the dramatic impression you want, and Hazanov's script (co-written with Mikael Brashinsky) often leaves the motivations of the characters up in the air, leaving her cast to fill in the gaps, most glaringly in the unfortunate Bond-villain stylings of Tashkov.

Think of it as the Swiss counterpart to a commercial Hollywood courtroom drama.
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