File this one solidly within the respectable historical drama category of recent fare like Downfall and The Best of Youth; its detailed recreation of the Khrushchev era in the Soviet Union and well-rounded, literary characters makes it engaging viewing, even if it ultimately seems a bit too polished and ideologically tepid beyond rudimentary observations about entrapment and freedom. Two young men, a cook and a mysterious agent, meet and form a close bond that includes their romantic courting of two sisters. The film recently won the top prize at the Moscow Film Festival, and its mixture of technical virtuosity (desaturated palette, complex camera moves, energetic close-ups) and cultural nostalgia (the early years of the space race were particularly kind to the Russians) fashions the kind of handsome historical summary national organizations enjoy. And the performances are top-notch as well. Why, then, does it leave such a minor aftertaste? A Gallipoli for the Soviet Union, its pleasures are so immediate and easy to digest that it's not until later that its lack of penetrating cultural insight (as opposed to period detail) fully registers.