By Willie Krischke — January 29, 2009
Another artsy European movie in which nothing really happens. “Alexandra” is about a Russian grandmother who visits her grandson, who is stationed in Chechnya, I think. All of the soldiers stare at her with doe eyes because she reminds them of their grandma. Every single one of them. She’s tough and not intimidated and, of course, full of wisdom. She’s so wise that she wanders off the base and into the war zone, headed to the market. There she meets a Chechnyan woman about her age, then has tea with her and discovers they’re not all that different. Yadda yadda yadda. Critics like to rave about movies like this because it makes them feel humane and enlightened and whatever. And honestly, after a day of watching movies about talking dogs and alien invasions, it probably is a breath of fresh air to encounter a real human being in a movie, or at least a reasonable facsimile of one. But really, “Alexandra” is awfully similar to an awful lot of other artsy European movies in which nothing really happens, and it’s just as easy to spend a day watching movies like this, and end up wishing for a talking dog or alien invasion or something to break up the monotony. “Alexandra’s” lessons and ruminations are basic and ordinary. Yes, peace is better than war. Yes, most people in conflict have more in common than they realize. Yes, most soldiers are just boys who miss their grandmothers. Thanks for that. What else you got?