Festival de Cannes 70: Andrey Zvyagintsev & Oleg Negin, 2014

A sunny shout-out to 70 winners at the Cannes Film Festival to celebrate the 70th event which is just around the corner – in no particular order.

I am not fully aware of where the balance of power lies in this industry with regards to the writers. The screenwriters. Does anyone? Those whose words on the page simply have to exist if there are to be any performers, directors, producers. That is where it all begins. Winning the Screenplay prize, there are no bones to pick from Andrey Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin‘s Leviathan, a small town drama with wide-scope issues. The acting from the main cast is so incredibly raw, you almost feel their pain. Beautifully shot too, crashing waves and rock faces ebbing around the community tension. The story itself is inch-perfectly executed. A steady pace is given to the air of doom facing the protagonist’s struggle to hold onto his home and land, not to mention his disintegrating wife, troublesome son, and who he thought was a loyal old friend. Zvyagintsev’s screenplay does not waste a single word either, so tight is the narrative it is a candle that burns slowly right in front of you. A candle that burns right down to the core, with hardly any whiff of a happy ending, leaving only an appropriately powerful and bleak closure. References to Leviathan as a masterpiece are not, then, unfounded.


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