the great problem is the huge ambition to create a spectacular fresco using a good cast only at level of names. because the story seems unclear, Depardieu fight with a character who has not roots, the aspects of Imperial family's life are presented in superficial manner, all seems be a puzzle with wrong pieces' positions. Depardieu could be a decent Rasputin. but not with the script of that film. Fanny Ardant looking for the most inspired manner to recreate Empress Alexandra 's traits or Mashkov as sketch of Nicholas II are not in the most comfortable position. result - all seems be an improvisation. sketch for use Depardieu in one of his desired roles. after the end of film, only the regrets for the poor actors. and for the poor Rasputin.