When Stalin died in 1953, a number of his former comrades rushed to fill the power vacuum. This is an account of those events.
No synopsis can really make The Death of Stalin sound all that hilarious but make no mistake, this is probably one of the funniest films of the last five years.
Iannucci educates the audience without patronising them, then uses that foundation to tell a funny and compelling story. There’s no ham fisted voice-over or tedious exposition and yet you can come in knowing very little about this period in Russian history and not be completely lost.
He also manages to tame what is an eclectic and very talented cast (Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Michael Palin, Jason Isaacs among many others). Everyone is funny, everyone plays an important part, but no one is allowed to steal the show.
It’s rare to see such a lean and carefully crafted screenplay manage to be so funny. The Death of Stalin has all the hallmarks of a timeless classic we’ll enjoy for years to come.
Get to the cinema if you can.