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Despite the Falling Snow

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United Kingdom, Canada · 2016
Rated PG-13 · 1h 34m
Director Shamim Sarif
Starring Rebecca Ferguson, Sam Reid, Charles Dance, Antje Traue
Genre Drama, Romance, Thriller

New York, 1961. Alexander Ivanov, a high-ranked Soviet bureaucrat, reluctantly defects to the West while is part of a diplomatic mission, feeling the grief of being unable to know the fate of his wife Katya, whom he has had to leave behind in Moscow. Only many years later, in 1991, he will finally find out the truth when his niece Lauren travels to Moscow to participate in a painting exhibition.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


Empire by Ian Freer

An old school romantic thriller that lacks the subtleties and sophistication of recent spy storytelling, be it on the big screen (Bridge Of Spies) or small (The Night Manager).


Total Film by James Mottram

The 'dual roles' conceit doesn’t quite work, despite Ferguson's best efforts. But, while it struggles to find rhythm, you can't fault Sarif's ambitions.


Los Angeles Times by Kimber Myers

Despite the Falling Snow is ostensibly a love story set against a Cold War thriller backdrop, but it features no heat and little tension.


Village Voice by Nick Schager

So tasteful it’s torturous, Despite the Falling Snow is a Cold War espionage thriller for those who like their period-piece action airless and derivative.


Variety by Owen Gleiberman

When a film’s basic strategy is to cut between the past and the present, it should create ripples of anticipatory tension. But Despite the Falling Snow is one of those movies in which the cross-cutting keeps destroying all mood and momentum — it feels more like channel-surfing.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

It features laborious acting and directing, and a screenplay whose revelations are uninteresting, even were they not guessable long in advance.


The Telegraph by Tim Robey

So many shivery night-time clinches in Moscow fill Despite the Falling Snow’s modest runtime, you wonder what proportion of the budget went on that ever-whirring snow machine.

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