Adam’s Rib

Not to be confused with the 1949 George Cukor comedy of the same title, this is a tragicomic 1991 Soviet feature by Vyacheslav Krishtofovich, based on Anatole Kourtchatkine’s novel House of Young Women. A family of women live in a small three-room flat: an invalid grandmother (Elena Bogdanova), a mother (Inna Churikova), and the mother’s two daughters from two previous marriages (Svetlana Ryabova and Maria Golubkina). The assortment of problems that characterize their lives is the main bill of fare, building to a birthday party for the grandmother that’s attended by the mother’s current lover and both her former husbands, an awkward and agonizing event of escalating awfulness. Nicely played and measured, and a good indication of some of the confusions that plague contemporary Russian life. (JR)

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