Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(Germany, UK, Spain, Lithuania, 2008)

Here is a film Alfred Hitchcock could have made, had he lived that long. A couple are taking the Trans-Siberian railroad from Beijing to Moscow, a trip that takes four or five days. Woody Harrelson is a train buff who gets ecstatic over old steam engines in yard, and misses the train. While Emily Mortimer and two bunkmates they met on the train wait for him to arrive the next day, she goes with the other man to a ruined church in the boonies. (Well, Siberia itself is the boonies, but this is the boonies of the boonies.) When they get there, he attempts to rape her, and she kills him, leaving him in the snow. It turns out he was smuggling heroin in the shape of nesting matryoshka dolls, and Ben Kingsley is a corrupt cop who has been trailing him. This is Russia, and he isn’t shy about torturing the girlfriend, Rooney Mara, who didn’t know the guy was smuggling. She dare not reveal that she killed the man, which is a very Hitchcockian theme. It’s a damn good thriller, but wear a heavy coat and boots when you watch it. Once we see a thermometer, and the damn thing is reading -23. F or C? Who cares? It’s freaking cold either way.