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  • The Kreutzer Sonata
    • The Kreutzer Sonata
    • Runtime:99 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-18 00:51:36
    • Director: Bernard Rose
    • Genres: Drama
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:The Kreutzer Sonata


Wow, what an energising film. I'm tempted just to smash the keyboard
and follow that up with some choice expletives. But I don't think the
IMDb will allow such behaviour. I had no expectations for this film at
all, it's the post-Oscars desert (just after the pre-Oscars desert),
pre-Cannes, very pre-the-time-we-get-to-see-films-from-Cannes. I had a
menu of blatantly market-driven pap and this oddity to choose from, but
I've been so long without a proper film at the cinema that I broke, and
went to see this one, how bad could it be if there was Beethoven
playing? And hey, once I got into it I could see the director really
believes in Tolstoy, you can see that in this movie, and you can see it
by looking at his filmography and witnessing his continued desire to
treat Tolstoy's works. In collaboration with Lisa Enos, the source
material has really been updated, and is thoroughly modern. There's a
line in the movie about how the world is run for women. Anyone that
doubts that, we're told, should go to the mall, nine out of ten shops,
don't contain a thing that a man would consider buying for himself.
Damn that's so glorious. A giddy thought in a giddy movie. You are free
to either take it as having a grain of truth or as sheer male paranoia.

It's all inspired by Beethoven's Opus 47, the Violin Sonata number 9.
This piece is for violin, with accompaniment by piano. It's made clear,
and it is not hard to follow, that with this piece, the to and fro
between the two musicians, is like sex. In Prinet's painting of 1901
(accessible on the Kreutzer Sonata's Wikipedia page), you can see the
male violinist, having finished the piece making moves to ravish the
female pianist.

So we have Danny Huston playing Edgar, a vain and handsome middle-aged
trust-funder, who seems to do little more with his time than fornicate
and spend half a day a week "running" a charitable foundation (feet up
behind the desk). For some reason I couldn't find it in my heart to
dislike him, as, given the chance, I would probably prefer to spend my
time doing such things as rolling around on a rug with a classical
pianist who looks like Elizabeth Röhm, in between sips of white wine
and ravenous biting of crayfish, a bolus of which mixed by her saliva
sliding down my throat as I slip into her (not in this life!). His
roguish good looks and faux bonhomie dampened down the truth that Edgar
would probably be the most objectionable person I could ever meet in
real life!

There are some outstanding drawn out graphic sex scenes in this movie
which didn't look simulated. I'm one of these guys who often roll my
eyes at sex scenes in movies, but I was all the way there on this one.
After the initial banquet of fornication which forms the early stage of
the relationship between Edgar and Abby (Röhm), comes marriage and two
children, and the relationship sours somewhat. Abby "wants her life
back", spoilt as she is. Edgar becomes increasingly jealous and in an
act of Faustian indulgence starts to believe she is having an affair
with a young violinist, whom he introduced to her, expecting from the
start that she would sleep with him.

The cheap visual effects are somehow brilliant, back-to-basics, almost
winding back the clock to the 1920s. They make the very melodramatic
Tolstoyan madness of Edgar come alive without looking silly. The
hand-held shooting style also manages to work, it takes the edge off
the luxuriant milieu of the film, which otherwise may have appeared too

Watching this movie for me was like getting drunk, really that
intoxicating. Edgar's attitude to Abby is wonderfully decadent, at one
point, referring to her, he says, "nothing can nor should hold a wild
animal back". Thank you Mr Bernard Rose for a movie that was like
Starship Troopers II, only good.


Listen, I have seen 23 first votes that rank this film as a 3.7

The one negative review I saw was from a fan of the original novella by
Leo Tolstoy; they made complaints about major points of the novella,
including its philosophies and theories on marriage and sex, not being
duly appropriated in this adaptation.

And I have to say that they are plainly insane to "besmirch" this film
as to the extent that they have.

What I got out of this film was an originally filmed and paced
independent film that wasn't annoyingly experimental. Its voice over
made the film into a good unforced narrative with acting that was
equally effective.

I loved the story, I loved the acting. The feelings of jealousy,
suspicion, anxiety, and suffocation were so absorbing. I felt attached
to most of this film. The acting was fluid and perfect chemistry. There
are so many ways to act a scene. Danny Huston and Elisabeth Rohm's
performances were some of the most realistic and enjoyable I have ever
seen. At times the film felt like a documentary between the characters
and the hand-held style.

I felt like this was definitely one of the best films I've seen in a
long time. This is a wonderful ride with a great efficacy.


This new movie should use another name besides 'The Kreutzer Sonata.'
It may be based on the novella by Leo Tolstoy but it is nothing like
it. I just read the novella and it was so much more powerful, and
emotional. The real Kreutzer Sonata was raw. And it is sad what it has
been turned into. The original was real, depicting the true faces of
reality. And above all it was used as a tool to spread a philosophy and
a message of Tolstoy's which is nowhere to be found in the contemporary
defacement of the old classic.

In the original the basic story is about lust, and the problems of the
structured institutionalized world we live in. Tolstoy's main points
revolve around the idea of marriage and its lost meaning. He also
speaks at length about the purpose of sex, of sexual pleasure, and the
purpose of life and procreation… ..much of which can not and will not
be understood by many.


I saw The Kreutzer Sonata at its first showing at the Edinburgh Film
Festival and I didn't enjoy it at all. I'm not sure if the dialogue was
scripted or improvised but it was rambling and boring. It's not even an
original idea to make a film based on the Tolstoy story and the
Beethoven sonata which inspired it – when I searched for the title I
found 13 previous versions, the first made in 1911. I haven't seen any
of them, but some surely must be better than this latest attempt. The
music sounded good, but that's the only good point. The acting was
wooden, the plot dragged, the voice-overs were very irritating. I
advise you to avoid this film.

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