Best Movies by Farr
Taxi Blues Poster
Released Runtime Category
1990 110 Drama, Foreign Language
Director Language
Pavel Lungin Russian
Pyotr Mamonov, Pyotr Zaychenko, Vladimir Kashpur, Natalya Kolyakoanova

Taxi Blues

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What's it About

One night in post-Glasnost Moscow, gruff cabdriver Shlykov (Zaychenko) picks up loudmouthed, drunken saxophone player Lyosha (Mamonov) and a simple fare turns into an evening odyssey. By morning, the musician has stiffed his none-too-happy cabbie to the tune of seventy rubles. Furious but undeterred, Shlykov tracks Lyosha down and forces him into indentured servitude to pay off his debt. As the two spend more time together, their relationship grows in complexity and they form an uneasy, unstable bond, one that leads to a surprising conclusion.

Why we love it

Both Mamonov and Zaychenko deliver memorable, complex and often nearly unhinged performances in this oddball tale of masculine bonding. Director Lungin knows just how to draw us in, as we observe two seeming opposites — a tough, anti-semitic cabbie and a dissolute Jewish musician — get thrown together by fate, and form the most unlikely of friendships. Along the way, pungent glimpses into Russian life during the turbulent, transformative early '90s make this a fascinating time capsule as well. This dark, unusual film may leave you with the blues, but in the best way possible.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"