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Loveless

(Nelyubov)
Russia/France/Germany/Belgium 2017. Dir: Andrey Zvyagintsev. 127 min. DCP

“An eerie thriller of hypnotic, mysterious intensity ... Andrey Zvyagintsev has produced another masterpiece.”
PETER BRADSHAW, THE GUARDIAN

The search for a missing child is parlayed into a razor-sharp examination of domestic decay and bureaucratic ineptitude in Zvyagintsev’s bleak, barbed 2017 feature, his second to be nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Setting out to remake Scenes from a Marriage (but unable to obtain rights), Zvyagintsev instead fashioned a Bergman-esque portrait of marital warfare — and Antonioni-esque mystery — involving a divorcing couple whose neglected, unloved, unwanted 12-year-old son (newcomer Matvey Novikov, astonishing) goes missing. The police, jaded and ineffectual, cede responsibility to a volunteer search-and-rescue party, who flyer the neighbourhood and comb the surrounding areas — fog-blanketed woodlands, derelict buildings — in search of the vanished boy. (Liza Alert, a missing-persons organization with autonomy from Russian law enforcement, consulted on the project.) Awarded the Jury Prize at Cannes, Zvyagintsev’s aptly titled fifth feature is a powerful, despairing film that paints a family’s sins in the colours of a nation.


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REVIEWS

"An enigmatic, and very rewarding, film ... At its best, it’s cinematic poetry.

Sight & Sound | full review