Plot A trip to the countryside for a city family is revealed to have a dark and sinister ulterior motive.
Following the acclaim for The Return, Andrei Zvyagintsev falls prey to second picture syndrome. The story is gruellingly compelling, with Konstantin Lavronenko conspiring with brother Aleksandr Baluyev to abort the baby that wife Maria Bonnevie has informed him is not his. The twist is well executed and the acting’s exemplary (Lavronenko won Best Actor at Cannes), but it ladles on the heavy religious symbolism and overstuffs the references to the Old Masters and arthouse heavyweights like Bergman and Bresson. It feels more like a ciné dissertation designed to showcase Zvyagintsev’s appreciation of the medium than an original piece of cinema.
Verdict A fine effort but it It feels more like a ciné dissertation than an original piece of cinema.
I saw The Banishment at last year's London Film Festival. After the brilliance of The Return, it's hard to not feel a little underwhelmed by Zvyagintsev's latest film. It's certainly intriguing, containing some excellent performances, but is also flawed at the same time, trying to over-complicate the narrative in order to resolve loose ends and feels a little overlong at 150 minutes. So a slight misstep, but still signs that Zvyagintsev has the potential to be a very good film maker. ... More
Director: Andrei Zvyagintsev
Screenwriters: Artyom Melkumian, Olg Negin
Starring: Konstantin Lavronenko, Aleksandr Baluyev, Maksim Shibayev, Maria Bonnevie
When a family from the city take a trip to an old house in the countryside, a dark and sinister reality is revealed.
Four years have passed since Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev made his acclaimed debut The Return, which won the Golden Lion at the 2003 Venice Film Festival. Loosely based on t... More