Page 31

LFF 17_ Brochure high res

OFFICIAL COMPETITION 31 FRI 13 SAT 14 SUN 15 18:00 EMBANKMENT 14:15 EMBANKMENT 21:00 MAYFAIR FRI 6 SUN 8 20:30 EMBANKMENT 11:00 EMBANKMENT LOVELESS THE LOVERS NELYUBOV Dir Andrey Zvyagintsev. Prod Alexandre Rodnyansky, Serguey Melkumov. Scr Oleg Negin, Andrey Zvyagintsev. With Maryana Spivak, Alexey Rozin, Matvey Novikov. Russia-France- Belgium-Germany 2017. 127min. UK Distribution Altitude Film Distribution Azazel Jacobs muses on long-term love and marriage with this bittersweet, blackly comic drama starring Tracy Letts and Debra Winger, who deliver a pair of knock-out, awards-worthy performances. Michael and Mary have been married for years. Estranged from each other, they are trapped in tedious jobs and find some solace in semi-ridiculous affairs (with Melora Walters and Aidan Gillen, terrific as the irritating but earnest lovers). Unbeknown to each other, Michael and Mary are both poised to walk away from their marriage; all they have to do is get through a weekend visit from their son and his new girlfriend. However, their feelings for each other start to thaw, even stir. Delivering both belly laughs and gut-wrenching pathos (both moods are deliciously present in Mandy Hoffman’s sweeping romantic score), Jacobs’ screenplay is perfectly calibrated, balancing moments of sublime absurdity with devastating, razor-sharp observations on how love can shift and change with time. Nowhere more so than in the final act, as we become more intimate with the details of how Mary and Michael reached such a lamentable impasse and witness the effect their interaction has on their son. Tricia Tuttle Dir-Scr Azazel Jacobs. Prod Azazel Jacobs, Ben LeClair, Chris Stinson. With Debra Winger, Tracy Letts, Aidan Gillen. USA 2017. 94min. UK Distribution Park Circus Limited Andrey Zvyagintsev’s follow-up to his LFF2014 Best Film winner Leviathan, 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. Another gem from a boldly imaginative filmmaker. Geoff Andrew


LFF 17_ Brochure high res
To see the actual publication please follow the link above