The Death of Stalin

The Death of Stalin

The writer/director Armando Iannucci has never let good taste get in the way of a good and bitter laugh. The work he’s best known for here in the States, the HBO comedy “Veep,” gets mad mileage out of depicting American politicos as not just bird-brained and venal but as actively, crassly awful. The relentless self-interest of its central character, Selina Meyer, spreads like a particularly vehement poison ivy into every aspect of her being. She’s funny because she’s shocking—shocking in ways that you don’t want to believe another human being can be.