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Review: Strangers on a train in 'Compartment No. 6'

A train ride from Moscow to the arctic port city of Murmansk would not seem like the most likely setting for anything as warm as Finnish filmmaker Juho Kuosmanen's “Compartment No. 6."To Laura (Seidi Haarla), a Finnish archeology student who's reluctantly left behind her girlfriend and her studies in Moscow to visit prehistoric rock drawings in northwest Russia, the journey doesn't start promising, either.

When she goes to set her bags down in her overnight, second-class compartment, she finds a boorish Russian miner, Ljoha (Yuriy Borisov). Drunk on schnapps, he aggressively guesses she's headed north for sex work.

The conductor offers no reprieve, not even for a bribe.For those of us weened on the romance of the rails in films like “The Palm Beach Story" and “The Lady Vanishes,” Laura's predicament feels more like the post-apocalyptic dread of “Snowpiercer.” At the first stop, Laura hops off with her luggage to find a pay phone and call her girlfriend, Irina (Dirana Drukarova), with the idea of taking the next train back to Moscow. But Irina, who had originally intended to accompany Laura, sounds relieved to be free of her.

When Irina asks if she's at least got some good company in her compartment, the already insecure Laura — sensing their relationship is ending — can only slump further, and mope back to the train.But as “Compartment No. 6,” a prize-winner at last year's Cannes Film Festival and Finland's shortlisted Oscar submission, rattles gently across a frigid, wintery Russia, an unlikely alchemy begins to form between Laura and Llosa.

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A train ride from Moscow to the arctic port city of Murmansk would not seem like the most likely setting for anything as warm as Finnish filmmaker Juho Kuosmanen's “Compartment No. 6."To Laura (Seidi Haarla), a Finnish archeology student who's reluctantly left behind her girlfriend and her studies in Moscow to visit prehistoric rock drawings in northwest Russia, the journey doesn't start promising, either.
poisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday. Called “Navalny,” it’s a no-holds-barred indictment of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, and insists that Navalny’s close brush with death was the result of a secret state-run operation to assassinate him.“As I became more and more famous guy, I was totally sure that my life became safer and safer because I am kind of famous guy — and it will be problematic for them just to kill me,” Navalny, 45, says in the film. “I was very wrong.” The doc, heading to HBO Max, was added at the last minute to the Sundance slate just as Putin had stationed more than 100,000 troops along the Ukrainian border.

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