‘Tchaikovsky’s Wife’ Review: A Feverish Russian Melodrama About a Wildly Dissonant Marriage

‘Tchaikovsky’s Wife’ Review: A Feverish Russian Melodrama About a Wildly Dissonant Marriage
It’s hard to imagine that anyone could make another movie about 19th century Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky that’s as febrile and virtuosic as Ken Russell’s “The Music Lovers,” but dissident filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov — freshly released from his Putin-ordered house arrest, but still awaiting trial on ludicrous charges of fraud — has risen to the challenge with his usual aplomb, orchestrating

Then again, Serebrennikov’s film isn’t really about the mercurial gay man who wrote “Swan Lake.” As you might be able to deduce from its title, the morbidly opulent “Tchaikovsky’s Wife” is more interested in the obsessive music student who married him. Social conventions of the time are sufficient to explain how Antonina Miliukova remained oblivious to — or in semi-denial of — her husband’s unyielding sexual orientation (even after he set his bed on fire in order to get her out of it), but Serebrennikov
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