Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan) won the Cannes Jury Prize for his stark and gripping tale of a divorcing couple caught in a missing-child procedural.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2017
“Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev has produced another masterpiece in this apocalyptic study of a failed marriage and the subsequent disappearance of a child. Loveless is a stark, mysterious and terrifying story of spiritual catastrophe: a drama with the ostensible form of a procedural crime thriller. It has a hypnotic intensity and unbearable ambiguity which is maintained until the very end. This is a story of modern Russia whose people are at the mercy of implacable forces, a loveless world like a planet without the full means to support human life, a place where the ordinary need for survival has mutated or upgraded into an unending aspirational demand for status, money, freedom to find an advantageous second marriage which brings a nice apartment, sex, luxury and the social media prerogative of selfies and self-affirmation. But all of it is underpinned, or overseen, by intensely conservative social norms of Christianity, conformism and nationalism.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“After four films, including the brilliant Leviathan, we are almost prepared for the crystalline perfection of Russian genius Andrey Zvyagintsev’s style… There is no way to do the film justice while also selling it as an appealing way to spend two devastating hours. But Zvyaginstev’s skill as a filmmaker is such that as discomfiting as it is, it’s deeply compelling and immersive.” — Jessica Kiang, The Playlist