Burnt by the Sun (Nikita Mikhalkov)

Rating: 3.5

This year, for the first time since I began seeing most/all of the 
nominees, I agreed with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science's 
choice for Best Foreign-Language Film; though far from the best of the 
year, this was by far the best of the five pictures from which AMPAS 
voters had to choose, and one of the few recent winners that wasn't an 
embarrassment to world cinema.  Performances, direction, and the 
Chekhov-writes-THE-TRIAL script are all first-rate.  A film of many 
moods, all of them captivating.  Mikhalkov's previous film, CLOSE TO 
EDEN, is even better.