Run time:  107 MINS

Director: Armando Iannucci

Cast: Jason Isaacs, Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Palin, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend, Paul Whitehouse, Giovanni Iannucci

Synopsis: The internal political landscape of 1950’s Soviet Russia takes on darkly comic form in a new film by Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated writer/director Armando Iannucci. In the days following Stalin’s collapse, his core team of ministers tussle for control; some want positive change in the Soviet Union, others have more sinister motives. Their one common trait? They’re all just desperately trying to remain alive.


The new film from Armando Iannucci [In the Loop (2009), Veep (TV series 2012 -), The Thick of It (TV series (2005-2012)] is a brilliantly dark horror-satire exploring the internal political landscape of 1950’s Soviet Russia. Following Stalin’s collapse his core team of ministers tussle for control with murderous and farcical results.

Inspired by the graphic novel The Death of Stalin by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin which is based on true events during the power vacuum left by Stalin’s death, Ianuccu’s  fearlessly combines comedy, drama, pathos and political manoeuvring in his ‘ comedy of terrors’. The script is written by Iannucci, David Schneider and Ian Martin, with additional material by Peter Fellows.

An outstanding cast deftly deal with razor-sharp dialogue which is in turn hilarious, absurdist and full of absolute terror.

Among the sparkling ensemble: Jason Isaacs ( Harry Potter (2002), The Infiltrator (2016) as famed World War II General Zhukov; Jeffrey Tambor (The Larry Sanders Show) as Georgy Malenkov, Stalin’s frightened deputy; Steve Buscemi (Fargo (1996), Reservoir Dogs (1992) as Nikita Khrushchev; Olga Kurylenko (A Perfect Day (2015) as Maria Yudina; Michael Palin (Monty Python (1975), Life Of Brian (1979) as Into the Woods  Vyacheslav Molotov; Simon Russell Beale as Lavrentiy Beria, sadistic head of the NKVD. ( (2014) who played Stalin in Collaborators a 2011 play by British screenwriter and dramatist John Hodge). Paddy Considine (Peaky Blinders (2016), Child 44 (2015) as Comrade Andreyev; Andrea Riseborough (Birdman (2014) Oblivion (2013) as Svetlana Stalina; Rupert Friend (Homeland (2012-2017), Hitman: Agent 47 (2015) as Vasily Stalin.

At a recent Q & A appearance at the Glasgow Film Theatre, Armando Iannucci said that he was studying political tyranny and cults of personality and the rise of populism in USA, Europe and modern Russia; with The Death of Stalin with its perfect mise-en-scene and filming locations, he has mined more comedy (black) gold to deliver one of the best films of the year.

Images courtesy of: EONE