Friday, October 26, 2007

Возвращение (Vozvrashcheniye) (The Return)

I know that I found another very interesting director this time he is from Russia, his name Andrei Zvyagintsev. This is his first feature film after doing mainly commercials and one episode for a TV series and for a first feature this is an outstanding achievement in storytelling, movie design and composition, as well as fantastic cinematography.

With a screenplay by Vladimir Moiseyenko and Aleksandr Novototsky the movie tells the story of two young teenagers boys that live with her mother and grandmother because their father abandon them 12 years ago. One day the father returns and the life of the children will be changed forever after they go on a road trip with their father.

This is a very strong drama that does not relay in many dialogues but in actors expressions and some abrupt emotions. When you have seen so many Hollywood movies you cannot help but start to think that this movie is sort of a psychological thriller that give you clues to “guess” what’s happening, what comes next and how it would end. But even if the thriller effect is there, this is no thriller nor has anything to do with Hollywood. It’s totally the opposite.

Beautiful cinematography with fantastic scenes of remote Russian wilderness and a objective and subjective camera that superbly frame scenes, with some handheld camera scenes that produce the necessary effect at the exact moment. Marvelous.

Excellent performance by kid actor Ivan Dobronravov that plays Ivan the younger brother, to me he totally steals the movie and makes it absolutely all about him. But Vladimir Garin (older brother) and Konstantin Lavronenko (the father) also give very good performances.

This director’s first feature film has 28 wins and 11 nominations in awards and festivals around the world. Incredible! Among the wins we find the Golden Lion, the Best First Film Award, the Luigi de Laurentis Award, the SIGNIS Award and the Sergio Trasatti Award at the 2003 Venice Film Festival, wow! Also won the Golden Leopard at 2003 Locarno, the European Discovery award at 2003 European Film Awards, Best Foreign Film at 2004 César Awards, was the official Russian submission for the 2004 Oscar’s and was nominated for Best Foreign Film at 2004 Golden Globes. The honors that this movie received are as amazing as the movie itself.

Now I have to see Zvyagintsev’s latest film Izgnanie. Not for all audiences you have to like at least great European movies. This is quite an unforgettable experience in cinematic terms.


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