City Paper is not for tourists
There’s no way a Hollywood epic about the Bolshevik Revolution could’ve been made during the heart of the Cold War without a star of Warren Beatty’s wattage. Yet Beatty’s infamous ego is largely absent in 1981’s Reds, despite his being the film’s co-writer, producer, star, and director (winning an Oscar in that last role). Beatty plays journalist John Reed, who captured the turmoil of Russia circa 1917 in his book Ten Days That Shook the World, and though Reds swaddles the unrest in a love story (pairing Beatty with Diane Keaton), the film also gives a surprisingly enthusiastic voice to Communism—certainly more than you’d expect from a film with a James Bond–grade budget released during the Brezhnev administration. More than a romance or an essay, though, Reds is a tremendous coming-of-age film. Beatty captures the wonder of Reed watching the world change right before his eyes, and Maureen Stapleton is superb as Reed’s confidante Emma Goldman, in a performance that scored her an Oscar, too. REDS SHOWS AT 7:30 P.M. AT THE AFI SILVER THEATRE AND CULTURAL CENTER, 8633 COLESVILLE ROAD, SILVER SPRING. $10. (301) 495-6700.