leviathan Zvyagintsev

No, not the boundary-breaking documentary set aboard a commercial fishing ship. No, not the George P. Cosmatos horror movie from 1989. But Leviathan, regardless, and apparently a worthy holder of that title. One of this year’s better-received Cannes titles (and Russia’s Oscar entry) is hitting U.S. shores right before 2014 comes to a close, and the impending occasion has given Sony Pictures Classics reasonable cause to cut a trailer.

And what a tense trailer it is! This nifty bit of marketing, set to a Koyaanisqatsi-esque Philip Glass score, quickly spins a social drama (men wanting land) that rather clearly dovetails into a bit of domestic fighting (wives and children don’t want conflict). Our review, posted in May, doesn’t concede much plot-related information, saying, “Andrey Zvyagintsev has crafted Leviathan with the most sublimated of directing, letting each scene play out with a quiet, methodic use of pace and performance. In one way, his style could remind some of the overused conception of ‘slow cinema,’ but each shot takes on a methodical economy — each line of dialogue and image (mostly master shots, but occasionally done in shot-reverse shot) answers the last, building an environment of paranoia.”

Watch the trailer below (via Apple):



The latest drama from Andrey Zvyagintsev, the acclaimed director of The Return (Venice Film Festival Golden Lion winner and Golden Globe nominee). Kolya (Alexeï Serebriakov) lives in a small fishing town near the stunning Barents Sea in Northern Russia. He owns an auto-repair shop that stands right next to the house where he lives with his young wife Lilya (Elena Liadova) and his son Roma (Sergueï Pokhodaev) from a previous marriage. The town’s corrupt mayor Vadim Shelevyat (Roman Madianov) is determined to take away his business, his house, as well as his land. First the Mayor tries buying off Kolya, but Kolya unflinchingly fights as hard as he can so as not to lose everything he owns, including the beauty that has surrounded him from the day he was born. Facing resistance, the mayor starts being more aggressive…..

Leviathan will begin a limited theatrical release on December 31.

Based on our review and this trailer, is Zvyagintsev’s film one you’ll keep an eye out for in the coming months?

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