The Luzhin Defence

Rated NR

An erratic savant shelters himself in a world of chess in order to deny his haunted past until an attractive society woman slowly breaks down his self-created walls. John Turturro plays the Russian chess phenomenon Alexander Luzhin, a chain-smoking, socially inept prodigy who has journeyed to Italy to compete in the World Championship Chess Tournament. Though he appears as a mumbling madman with a tattered suit and a battered cane, a well-bred sweetheart (Emily Watson) still manages to fall in love with him, despite her meddlesome matchmaking mother. Together the two unlikely lovers discover layers of human emotion, obsession and regression before their two worlds collide, causing them both to make their own personal sacrifices. Marleen Gorris, whose 1995 film Antonia's Line won Best Foreign Film, expertly directs this adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's novel with precise flashbacks, gorgeous sets and Oscar-caliber performances by both Turturro and Watson.

Film Credits

Director: Marleen Gorris

Cast: John Turturro and Emily Watson

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