Feature Film | Comedy | Latvia/Austria/Russia/UK | English, Latvian, Russian, French, & German | 1h34m | Dir: Alexander Hahn | Scr: Alexander Hahn, Alexander Mahler, & Norman Hudis | Story: Alexander Mahler | DP: Jerzy Palacz | Prod: Markus Fischer | Mus: Markus Pöchinger & Boris Resnik | Ed: Justin Krish | PD: Ieva Romanova | Cast: Orlando Wells, Gundars Abolins, Maria de Medeiros, Dominique Pinon, Chulpan Khamatova, Tobias Moretti, Victor McGuire, Detlev Buck, Roland Düringer, Birgit Minichmayr, Daniil Spivakovskiy, Aurelija Anuzhite, Dainis Porgants, Yevgeni Sitokhin, Imbi Strenga, James-William Watts, Benito Sambo
A number of foreign nationals arrive in Latvia, for various wildly differing reasons, just in time for the titular solstitial festival, in Hahn’s decidedly messy comedy, which wastes a well-assembled and talented cast on underdeveloped and generally weak comic material. However, some strands of this multi-stranded effort do manage to elicit the odd laugh, such as those involving McGuire and Watts’s sexually-awakened Liverpudlian firemen and de Medeiros and Pinon’s pilgrimaging Frenchmen, who arrive in Latvia in search of the spectacular Hill of Crosses (which is actually in the neighbouring Lithuania). But even these vaguely amusing sections still feel painfully half-baked; and as for the rest of them, they range from the bland (a boorish American arrives in Riga in search of his long-lost half-sister) to the excruciating (a local ne’er-do-well tries to blag his way into a big-money deal with a pair of horny Germanic businessmen). Best avoided.