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Leto(Лето)

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Russia, France

2018

2h 6m

Director Kirill Serebrennikov

Starring Yoo Teo, Roman Bilyk, Irina Starshenbaum, Philip Avdeev

Genre Music, Drama

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Leningrad, one summer in the early eighties. Smuggling LP’s by Lou Reed and David Bowie, the underground rock scene is boiling ahead of the Perestroika. Mike and his beautiful wife Natasha meet with young Viktor Tsoï. Together with friends, they will change the destiny of rock’n’roll in the Soviet Union.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

67

The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

The film works best as a modest portrait of what the rock ’n’ roll life looked like in this time and place.
75

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

It’s a shambling, transportive, and semi-tragic story about a fleeting past where anything seemed possible.
70

Variety by Guy Lodge

If not as overtly political as “The Student,” Leto nonetheless represents about as flamboyant a statement of free artistic expression as Serebrennikov could make at this moment: There’s certainly nothing contained or inhibited about its celebration of artists who themselves were given little support or leeway by the Soviet government.
60

Screen International by Jonathan Romney

The film’s energy and passion (and no doubt, eye for detail) can’t be faulted, but a tighter film could have more pointedly made the connection between the subjects’ brief lifespans and the fate of a young culture of refusal that arguably died when the system it questioned was replaced by a differently oppressive social order.
60

CineVue by Martyn Conterio

Serebrennikov...has a great eye for composition and crafting a set piece, but the meandering pace and loose approach to storytelling makes his second feature akin to an album front loaded with banging tunes and the rest is filler.
60

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Leto is a film with some wonderful moments and some slightly forgettable stretches – like an album with one or two wonderful tracks.
80

Time by Stephanie Zacharek

Leto is one of those movies that whisks us into a world that feels both familiar and fresh, like a sense memory of a life we might have lived if we’d been born in another decade or on another continent.
90

TheWrap by Steve Pond

Part fond remembrance of an early-’80s Leningrad rock scene and part glam-rock fever dream, Leto asks an audience to surrender to excess and at times to silliness, and it richly rewards them for doing so.

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