Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for March 24th, 2018

From Russia with Love

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 24th March, 2018

SIFFA UKThere isn’t much love between the UK and Russia these days, in the wake of the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, but while the war of words continues between the two governments, at a cultural level there is a determination to keep things friendly. So there was a good turn-out — and no embarrassing demonstrations — at the gala UK premiere of Artyom Mikhalkov’s 2016 film, Betting on Love, at the Soho Hotel’s screening room in Soho last night. The event was all part of the London end of the Sochi Film Festival Awards (SIFFA) — a relative newcomer to the film festival circuit, based in the Black Sea resort that hosted the Winter Olympics four years ago. There were drinks and awards of various kinds before the Soho screening, with a great many bouquets of flowers. Stephen Frears — who collected a certificate, along with one for an absent Dame Judi Dench — was so festooned with blooms he could have opened a stall in Columbia Road market. Artyom Mikhalkov was on hand to receive his own Sochi gong. His film was a romantic comedy that made many nods to the rom-coms of the 1960s and 1970s, with a bit of James Bond thrown in. The hero was a diminutive Armenian waiter working in a sushi restaurant who nonetheless has the chance of winning the hand of a fair maiden. There are some nice gags about Russian mafiosi as well as armospheric location shots in Las Vegas, but the film was as frothy as whipped cream in a can — and everyone kissed, made up and paired off at the end.

Posted in film review, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »