March 09, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Catherine the Great

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Virginia Rounding
publisher
St. Martin's Press
genre
Nonfiction, Biography
We gave it a C-

War! Palace intrigue! Bodice-ripping romance! There’s a little of each in this lushly overdressed costume drama — but not enough of anything substantial. Set during the rise and early reign of the great empress Catherine (Zeta-Jones), it’s a rush job through 18th-century Russian history, skimming over momentous events and screeching to a halt decades before Catherine’s death. For diehard Catherine Zeta-Jones fans only. C-

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