Published on January 19th, 2013 | by Chris2
Attack on Leningrad (2009)
Foreign journalists Kate Davis (Mira Sorvino) and Philip Parker (Gabriel Byrne) find themselves trapped behind enemy lines when the Nazis invade Leningrad in 1941. They are effectively cut off, and Davis finds herself in even more dire straits as she's lost all of her identifying papers.
She's picked up by one of the local police, Nina (Olga Sutulova), who nurses her back to health and introduces Kate to a world of despair like she's never seen before.
The remainder of Attack on Leningrad finds Kate trying to help out Nina and her extended family and neighbors, including a young handicapped boy, his mother and sister, and a former theatre actress. They have to resort to various and sordid means of survival, and it is quite a harrowing experience for Kate.
Meanwhile, Parker learns that Kate is still alive, and spends his part of the film trying to get her back out. Eventually, the two are finally reunited along with Nina in an agreed upon humanitarian evacuation-slash-supply effort across the river. Unfortunately, conscience gets the better of Kate and Nina...
Fair warning, do not watch this movie if you happen to be an a particularly good mood at the moment. Because the bulk of the film showing Kate and company trying to survive is simply heart wrenching and at times stomach turning. There's no other way to put it. The movie does an excellent, if maybe still inadequate job of showing the despair and terrible conditions that must have been present in the city during the siege.
Mira Sorvino is actually quite the actress here. I know she's had her moments on the other end of the scale, but here she is quite respectable. Ditto Mr. Byrne, and pretty much everyone else. There are moments where the inadequate effects budget are apparent, but the point is made, and the production is otherwise adequate. Never to the point of overshadowing or contradicting the mission of the movie.
There are diversions along the way, usually involving combat, or political business, but they at times take away from the focus of the film, which is the struggle of the people of Leningrad.
While not a war movie in the traditional sense, Attack on Leningrad paints an ugly portrait of the costs to the civilian population. A well earned 7/10.
And don't even ask me where they got the inspiration for the poster. I think there were aircraft in maybe one or two brief scenes... a bit misleading.
Attack on Leningrad
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A soaring, action-packed journey of heroism and sacrifice as one crusading journalist desperately fights to uncover the horrors buried within the infamous Nazi siege of Leningrad in the savage winter of 1941...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)
Brand: Koch International
Manufacturer: Entertainment One
Original Release Date:
- Mira Sorvino
- Gabriel Byrne
- Armin Mueller-Stahl
- Factory sealed DVD
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very good if you watch the International Version,
This review is from: Attack on Leningrad (DVD)The American version deletes many powerful scenes that are in the international version (German, Russian, English). So this American version lacks much of the richness and desperation of the longer version. Since the subtitles are fairly good, though not exact even in the American version, I recommend watching the international version. The basic plot of course involves the longest siege of WW 2--Leningrad, which lasted over 800 days and cost the lives of 1,500,000 civilians and nearly a million soldiers from both sides. This movie is unusual in that the two lead roles are women, one Russian and one English, both very strong while still remaining feminine in the face of great adversity. The picture on the front of the DVD box is misleading--the real star of this is the Russian cop, Nina. I think that Mira Sorvino's part was put in primarily to grab a non-Russian audience. The relationship between Nina and Katya (Mira) is both complex and one of the few remnants of humanity in... Read more
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Unexplained English version!,
This review is from: Attack on Leningrad (DVD)
The original Russian version is longer and better than English! The English version is too short and doesn't show details! From my point of view, foreigners must see everything to understand the life in Soviet Union during WW-2: the politics of Stalin's Government to the outside World and to Soviet Union citizens. My children of 15, 12, and 9 (US born) liked the Russian version. On my question "Why?", they answered, "It explains everything! The English version is like a puzzle!"
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Interesting International Epic,
This review is from: Attack on Leningrad (Amazon Video)
Few westerners know much about the siege of Leningrad during World War Two. This dramatic tale, dolled up with some fictional British characters to make it palatable to an English-language audience, does an effective job of illustrating the effects of starvation on a large urban populace, while telling a compelling story of the war. It is a harrowing piece. We were engrossed by the film.
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Summary: A depressing but excellent look into the struggle of the citizens of Leningrad during the Nazi's siege in 1941.