In late ’90s Russia, in ‘Compartment No. 6’ (the English title) of a Moscow to Murmansk train, the Finnish Laura (Seidi Haarla) fleeing a love affair, is forced to share her space with the slobby, hard-drinking Russian miner Ljoha (Yuriy Borisov). At first, they seem to have nothing in common, but, as the train rumbles on and the strangers slowly lower their protective shields, they begin to understand each other better than they thought possible, and an unexpected bond forms… Director Juho Kuosmanen made a splash with his ‘The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki’, which garnered the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes in 2016; ‘Compartment No. 6’ continues his winning ways—it captured the Grand Prix in the Cannes Competition last year.
‘Kuosmanen’s deeply delightful Cannes competition title… plays less like a film than an incredibly detailed, richly textured memory… As Ljoha, Borisov buries his soulfulness under a restless, constant physicality—he even seems to sleep tensely. And Haarla, the protagonist, is even more subtle, magnificent in her lank-haired, sensible-sweatered normalcy, her almost palpable insecurity constantly in flux with her quiet self-worth. Separately—for they are lonely individuals—the actors are wonderful in conveying the smallest of changes in chemistry between the characters, and together, there is not a moment of their relationship that you do not believe.’—Jessica Kiang, Variety