Children of the Revolution

CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION Judy Davis, Geoffrey Rush, Sam Neill (1997, Miramax, R, $103.99) A great idea for a comedy: Never-say-die Australian Communist Davis gets to meet Stalin himself, but after their one-night stand, the dictator’s dead, and she’s pregnant; her son (Richard Roxburgh) grows up to be an Aussie labor agitator with a familiar mustache and a yen for purges. But writer-director Peter Duncan never figures out how to play it, and the result veers from slapstick farce (the goofy Kremlin scenes, with F. Murray Abraham a road show Uncle Joe) to sociopolitical whimsy to domestic black comedy. What sticks in this engaging misfire are the ineffable Davis — shrill, rigidly PC, and yet you understand why all the men are in love with her — and Rachel Griffiths (My Best Friend’s Wedding) as Roxburgh’s wary, winsome wife. C+

Children of the Revolution
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