The Time Out Film Guide
reviewed by WH

Purportedly a big deal in Russia because it discusses the menage-a-trois of a revered poet, this historical reconstruction sports fine Chekhov-lite performances, superb set design and sublimely choreographed grand manners. It traces the years Nobel Laureate Ivan Bunin, of the white linen, spent mostly in exile, from 1928-45, in Paris or Provence. Cameraman Klimenko doesn't put a lens wrong and the performances are as strong as those of false memory syndrome, but the film consists of little more than endless domestic arrangements and rearrangements, flutters of the heart, and storms in breakfast table teacups which illuminate neither poet nor the condition of exile. In sum, Bunin hated the Bolsheviks, followed his heart, broke others, travelled a lot. Must read the poetry.