The Death of Stalin

Directed by: Armando Iannucci, 2018, UK, 107 minutes, Rated R.
The one-liners fly as fast as political fortunes fall in this wickedly irreverent satire from Armando Iannucci (comedy genius behind Veep and In the Loop). Moscow, 1953: when tyrannical dictator Joseph Stalin dies suddenly, his parasitic cronies square off in a frantic power struggle to be the next Soviet leader. Among the contenders are the dweeby Georgy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor), the wily Nikita Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi) and the sadistic secret police cheif Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russell Beale). But as they bumble, brawl and backstab their way to the top, just who is running the government? Combining palace intrigue with rapid-fire farce, this audacious comedy is a bitingly funny takedown of bureaucratic dysfunction performed to the hilt b a sparkling ensemble cast. Nominee/winner of several international film awards. In English, with closed captions.
"Armando Iannucci’s absurdist comedy reveals this in an extremely loose manner of speaking, with malice aforethought, straight-faced glee and formidable sharpshooting that occasionally misfires." - Joe Morgenstern
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