Cannes Compétition Prospectus – Loveless

Loveless

Andrey Zvyagintsev

Russia

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CRITICAL RESPONSE

“This is a film which confronts us with the most unthinkable of crises and perhaps also challenges the eternal piety and complacency of family life, that having children is a moral verity and duty which is somehow its own reward, which elevates by its very nature and goes beyond the requirement to show and to give love.” — Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian)

“Loveless has been made in a forceful and deliberate socialist-realist Hitchcockian style that recalls the most celebrated films of the Romanian new wave (“4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days”; “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu”)… rock-solid yet leisurely in its observance, grounded yet metaphorical — makes it a quietly commanding film.” — Owen Gleiberman (Variety)

“Zvyagintsev makes the muted beauty of the winter landscape a significant element in a story, giving a sense of passing time through the imagery and elements of nature. A husband and wife on the verge of divorce argue loudly in their small apartment, each eager to be free, and neither wanting custody of their 12-year-old son Alexey. The camera catches the image of the boy sobbing silently in the dark behind the bathroom door, his face wracked with grief.” — Barbara Scharres (RogerEbert.com)

PRIZE POTENTIAL

The last visit to Cannes in 2014 saw Zvyagintsev and screenwriting partner Oleg Negin take the writing prize for Leviathan, then tagged with the masterpiece status. Loveless has been wafting a similar scent. I’m adamant the film will win one of the big three prizes. Zvyagintsev as Director and Maryana Spivak as Actress are dark horses.

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