short takes (1)

* Everyone expected "The Last Metro" or "Kagemusha" to win this year's Oscar for best foreign-language film. After all, they had been successful on American screens, and were made by big-name directors. Amazingly, though, an unknown Soviet picture called Moscow Doesn't Believe in Tears walked off with the prize. Now it has opened commercially in the United States, and I'm still amazed. It just isn't a very good movie. Oh, there's nothing wrong with it -- but there's not a shred of excitement to its soapy story of a young woman's emotional trials , which include an unhappy affair, an unwed motherhood, and a bland liaison with a bland lover.

There are good moments along the way, and the last part is fetching, as our heroine finally finds the ideal man, in a sequence that could have been written by Paul Mazursky and called "An Unmarried Comrade." Still, I doubt this is the best the Soviets, or the Oscars, could be giving us. Let's see more Soviet movies, as we used to, so we can assess them with a b it more perspective!

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