A Gentleman in Moscow features Ewan McGregor's best work in years, say the critics

Ewan McGregor as Count Rostov and Alexa Goodall as Nina in A Gentleman in Moscow (Paramount+)
Ewan McGregor and Alexa Goodall in A Gentleman in Moscow. (Paramount+) (Ben Blackall/Paramount+ with Showtime)

Ewan McGregor's latest performance in TV drama A Gentleman in Moscow has gone down a treat with critics.

Adapted from Amor Towles' novel of the same name over at streaming service Paramount+, this eight-episoder finds Fargo star McGregor brandishing a fine moustache as Russian aristocrat Count Rostov, who is sentenced to house arrest at the Metropol hotel. Here, he encounters all walks of life, including film actress Anna Urbanova (played by McGregor's real-life wife Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and young, seemingly parentless Nina Kulikova (newcomer Alexa Goodall).

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In a review from The Hollywood Reporter, the Scotsman's Soviet turn was said to represent him "at his most generally amicable".

"He and real-life spouse Winstead have a chemistry that starts out amusing and becomes rather sweet and well-earned, and Winstead's take on an actress going from budding ingénue to of-a-certain-age in the blink of an eye is a poignant parallel to the show's empire rise-and-fall backdrop," the publication continued.

"Once you accept that the series is largely about Rostov making sense of his restrictive circumstances, it isn't hard to sit back and enjoy McGregor and Winstead and Sam Perry's costumes and the general claustrophobic sumptuousness of it all."

New York, United States. 12th Mar, 2024. (L-R) Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ewan McGregor attend the
Mary Elizabeth Winstead and her real-life husband at the show's premiere event in New York City. (Ron Adar/SOPA Images/Sipa USA) (Sipa US, Sipa US)

Meanwhile, Empire Magazine suggested that despite a meandering first half to the series, audiences will still be drawn in thanks to Rostov's moustache-twirling and the character's interactions "with an eccentric supporting cast who are vastly more fleshed-out here than they were in the book. That's especially true of Anna Urbanova, and it's wistful characters like her who make the show more compelling, if a tad unrealistic.

"Viewers willing to stick with the show's gentlemanly pace and occasionally mawkish sincerity will be rewarded with heartwarming, old-fashioned storytelling — anchored by Ewan McGregor's finest performance in years," a review snippet concluded.

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Left a little deflated by the material, though, Variety's dissection of A Gentleman in Moscow claimed "we're stuck with a simplistic fable of a charming fogey embracing the redemptive power of love", with no "external stimuli" to keep things exciting.

According to them, "it's a show that pads itself out rather than cultivating its ensemble or engaging with deeper, more substantive issues than Rostov's personal plight. You won't mind spending time with the Count, but he won't follow you through the Metropol's revolving door."

The recurring theme of McGregor's quality showmanship cropped up in The Guardian's piece, too.

"It is a fantastic dramatic playground that requires a big lead performance to sweep all the pieces together into a glittering whirl," it read. "Happily, McGregor's Rostov is intoxicating when the character is winning and affecting when the actor allows the great sadness at the core of this benighted man to flash across his eyes. McGregor's posture and gait, precise and proper but with the rolling swagger of someone whose default setting is to be delighted by whatever is behind the next door, are as key to the Rostov vibe as his fantabulous facial hair."

A Gentleman in Moscow streams weekly on Paramount+.

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This article originally appeared on Yahoo TV UK at https://uk.news.yahoo.com/a-gentleman-in-moscow-ewan-mcgregor-reviews-103426991.html