Ralph Fiennes takes Russia in “Two Women”
While fans of the Harry Potter series are perhaps more accustomed to seeing actor Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort) deliver his lines in English – or, occasionally, in Parseltongue – there’s another language that Fiennes can now check off of his list: Russian. Opposite a cast of mostly Russian actors, Fiennes stars in Two Women (Dve Zhenshchiny), a co-production between Russia, Latvia, France, and the UK directed by Vera Glagoleva. Adapted from Ivan Turgenev’s play A Month in the Country, the film, as the Hollywood Reporter writes,
[…] is all about two female protagonists whose affections are made to represent their different predicaments at different phases in their lives. Married to a sound and sturdy landowner, Natalya (Anna Astrakhantseva) finds herself struggling to contain her fears of losing her desire and ability to […] elicit desire as middle age beckons; it’s a confused mental state [that] sees her string along Mikhail (Fiennes), a family friend whose affections she toys with while promising nothing in return.
The other half of the titular equation alludes to Natalya’s adopted daughter Vera (Anna Levanova), whose youthful vigor and blooming beauty has proved to be a challenge to the older woman, who is both her guardian and her rival as the star of the house. The rivalry eventually implodes as both women fall for Alexei (Nikita Volkov), the young tutor of Natalya’s son. What follows is a series of mental games and power plays, which, through confusion and misunderstanding, eventually also draw Mikhail, Natalya’s husband Arkady (Aleksandr Baluev) and a various family acquaintances into the mire.
Although Two Women has no set release date for theaters, it has already been shown at film festivals across Russia and garnered multiple awards, having won the grand prize (the “Shining Phoenix Award”) as well as awards for its soundtrack and production at the Zolotoi Feniks (“Golden Phoenix”) film festival in Smolensk. Shown at the Amurskaya Osen’ (“Amur Fall”) film and theater festival from September 6-14, Two Women won Best Film as well as another prize.
Check out the teaser trailer (subtitled in English) here:
For more on the film, its official website can be found (in both English and Russian) here. Plus, you can read an English-language review of Two Women, which was also recently shown at the Vladivostok Pacific-Meridian International Film Festival, by going here.
Do you hope the film has a wider release? Do you want to see it? Let us know in the comments below!