Beneath the grubby performance by Michel Gambon and some stylistic flourishes, Karoly Makk's dramatization of an episode from the tortured life of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky is pretty standard stuff: a handsome but somewhat clunky biopic wrapped around an adaptation of a classic novel. It's 1866, in old St. Petersburg, and Dostoyevsky is in a desperate situation. Having sold the rights to his every written word (past, present and future)to an unscrupulous publisher in order to clear his debts, Dostoyevsky must now deliver the complete manuscript
of a new -- and unwritten -- novel in 27 days. To facilitate the process, Dostoyevsky decides to hire a stenograp...