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Loveless 15 rating

Andrey Zvyagintsev (Elena, Leviathan) delivers a masterpiece in this caustic look at contemporary Russian society, a failed marriage and the disappearance of a child. A major prize winner at both Cannes and BFI London Film Festival.

Drama 2017 127 mins

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev


Andrey Zvyagintsev’s caustic drama, about a couple whose son disappears as they’re just about to divorce, paints a quietly horrific picture of life in contemporary Russia. Still reluctantly sharing their apartment, Boris and Zhenya can’t wait to end their marriage and begin anew with their respective lovers; such is their mutual dislike, they’re oblivious to the terrible effect their constant arguments are having on their shy, lonely 12-year-old son Alyosha. Then one day they discover that the boy’s no longer to be found, and they’re expected to work together in dealing both with the police and with a group of volunteers who search for missing children. Faced with bureaucratic lassitude and focused on their own romantic, erotic, professional and hedonistic aspirations, the parents – clearly representative of certain aspects of Russian society – are ill-equipped to deal with this time-consuming catastrophe; desperate for love themselves, they seemingly have none to spare.

Working with his regular writing partner Oleg Negin, Zvyagintsev expertly balances taut suspense, vivid characterisation and state-of-the-nation commentary, while his sensitivity to subtly expressive sound and eloquent, resonant images remains undiminished. Following his BFI London Film Festival prize-winner, Leviathan, this is another gem from a boldly imaginative filmmaker.