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This epic historical romance has the distinction of being the first Russian film released as a Netflix Original. It was a hit in Russia last year, where it got a limited theatrical release due to the pandemic, and now it’s going worldwide. Set in St. Petersburg in the winter of 1899, it tells a classic story of a poor boy and a rich girl falling in love in spite of the whole world conspiring against them. She’s the repressed daughter of a dignitary, and he’s a charming but rough-around-the-edges messenger who makes his deliveries by zipping around the city’s frozen rivers and canals on his ice skates, his most valuable possession. The film is loosely based on the classic 1865 American novel Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, as well as Romeo & Juliet. It’s a grand and opulent period piece, and will be interesting even just as a curiosity to see what contemporary Russian blockbuster filmmaking is like.
From Britt Lawrence at Eclectic Pup:
Director Michael Lockshin takes viewers into such a hyper-realistic realm that anything seems possible, including Matvey and Alisa’s devotion. In doing so, “Silver Skates” plunges viewers into a magical wintry wonderland. The production values are the star here, and boy do they shine. This is the kind of atmosphere that Hallmark Channel Christmas movie fans will want to soak up in the best way. Full Review