In 1958, young factory workers Lyudmilla (Muravyova), Katerina (Alentova), and Antonina (Ryazanova) live together in a dormitory in Moscow, dreaming of a better life with the right man, far from the dreary realities of provincial life. Each pursues this agenda in her own way: conniving Lyudmilla and cautious Katerina by posing as well-to-do university students, country bumpkin Antonina by edging closer to marriage with her suitor Nikolai (Smorchkov).
A slyly humorous Russian take on the "woman's film," Menshov's melodramatic "Tears" won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980. Told in two parts, the film establishes the personality and moral character of its female trio, then fast-forwards twenty years to the late '70s, when we discover where fate has led each of these women — who continue to share an intimate bond — in their search for happiness and companionship. The cast is superb, but Alentova really captivates as the fun-loving, deceptive Lyudmilla. These "Tears" will warm your heart.