The Luzhin Defence

D: Marlene Gorris
Renaissance/Clear Blue Sky (Caroline Wood, Stephen Evans, Louis Becker & Philippe Guez)
UK/France 2000
108 mins


W: Peter Berry [based on the novel by Vladimir Nabakov]
DP: Bernard Lutic
Ed: Michael Reichweitz
Mus: Alexandre Desplat

John Turturro (Aleksandr Ivanovich Luzhin), Emily Watson (Natalia Katkov), Geraldine James (Vera), Stuart Wilson (Leo Valentinov)

At a chess tournament, a Russian grandmaster has to choose between his love for the game or his love for a woman.
This intellectual-edged romantic drama is much more interesting than it sounds, driven by a strong central performance from John Turturro who can count himself unfortunate not to receive a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his work.
Worth a watch, but like the game of chess itself, it won't be everyone's cup of tea.

John Turturro in The Luzhin Defence
John Turturro in The Luzhin Defence