The Death of Stalin ★★★½


Walks an incredibly tricky tonal tightrope, somehow managing to get (queasier than usual) laughs from venal behavior even though its victims aren't an offscreen abstraction this time. Cast of Brits and Americans playing (in)famous Russians using their native accents never got less distracting for me—I'm having a hard time even remembering the last film of this sort I saw; it's increasingly uncommon (and usually they're at least all the same incorrect nationality)—but Iannucci's scabrous wit transcends all borders. Didn't even recognize Beale—it's as if the humane decency that went into his Deep Blue Sea performance has been surgically removed, leaving a warped husk of amoral opportunism.