Elki / Six Degrees of Celebration

Christmas Trees 2 (Ёлки 2; also called Seven Degrees of Celebration in English) is the sequel to the popular 2010 Christmas Trees (Ёлки). Released in 2011, it did even better than its predecessor, both at the box office and in reviews. It is less a true sequel in terms of plot and characters and more a continuation of the spirit of the first film.

Similarly to the first film, the sequel was also directed by a big group—though mostly different from those from the previous film—and had a massive number of stars, only a few of whom reprised their roles from the earlier film. It again took place on New Year’s Eve and had a convoluted plot, as befits its many characters. The major action involved long-lost lovers attempting to meet at midnight on Red Square. One of the characters, Yulia Snegiryova, has received an important letter from her former lover, Grigoriy Zemlyanikin. The letter had languished in the postal service of the USSR and then Russia for forty years before finally arriving at her door. In the letter, Grigoriy apologized for something he had done while the two had known each other and said that he would wait for her on Red Square every New Year’s Eve. He has done so every year, but this year, just as she’s finally received the letter and sets off for Red Square, he decides that he can finally abandon his mission. In the story, however, random people come together to help the couple finally reunite through extraordinary twists of fate.

Film.ru called the sequel funnier and sweeter than its predecessor, giving it a good overall rating for a romantic comedy. They noted that the various pieces of the film fit together better than those of the first Christmas Trees, too. Cameos by stars such as singer and actress Vera Brezhneva, playing herself, added additional verve.

Find Seven Degrees of Celebration on Amazon

 

Directors: Dmitry Kiselyov, Aleksandr Baranov, Aleksandr Kott, Levan Gabriadze
Stars: Ivan Urgant, Sergey Svetlakov, Yelena Plaksina, Aleksey Petrenko, Irina Alfyorova, and others
Production company: Bazelevs Productions
Box office take: $26.2 million

Official trailer:

Find Seven Degrees of Celebration on Amazon

 

Christmas Trees 2 (Ёлки 2)

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.