First Trailer For Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Cannes Winner ‘Leviathan’

Written by on August 29, 2014 


Not to be confused with one of the best films of last year, another Leviathan premiered at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, where it picked up the top screenplay award. Coming from Russia’s Andrey Zvyagintsev, the great director behind The Return and, most recently, Elena, the drama will be hitting U.S. theaters at the very end of the year and now the first trailer has dropped.

We said in our review that it’s “an intensely operatic examination of a land dispute escalated to epic proportions.” We added, “Leviathan certainly has many unspoken race and class issues brewing under its intensely restrained surface. The film begins as Koyla (Aleksey Serebryakov) has raised a lawsuit against the mayor, Vadim (Roman Madyanov), for illegally seizing his property, and has recruited a Moscow-settled childhood friend, Dimitri (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), as his lawyer. But the verdict is not a favorable one — the judge monologues an incomprehensible explanation at a lighting-fast pace in a single take that is ridiculously funny, a Kafka-esque moment laid down like an edict from God.”

Courtesy of HitFix, check out the international trailer and poster below:


Kolia (the magnetic Alexey Serebryakov) lives in a coastal village near the Barents Sea in Northern Russia, running an auto-repair shop from the garage of his childhood home, shared with young wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova) and his teenage son from a previous marriage.
The family’s world is under threat: Vadim Sergeyich (Roman Madyanov), the imperious town Mayor, has slapped a compulsory acquisition order on Kolia’s prime land, earmarking the site for a development of undetermined but dubious funding (and offering risible, token compensation). To Sergeyich’s great surprise, Kolia enlists the help of ex-army friend Dmitri (Vladimir Vdovitchenkov), now a hotshot lawyer from Moscow. Dmitri has uncovered some highly incriminating evidence that he believes will force the Mayor to back down, even if he has secrets of his own. Soon tempers and passions are inflamed, events spiral out of control, and lives are placed at stake.

Zvyagintsev’s deftly-drawn and morally complex thriller is an electrifying, vodka-fuelled examination of the familial, sexual and judicial tangles of ordinary human lives, played out against the monstrous machinations of Putin’s seemingly unchecked regime. Saturated with incredible imagery, superb performances and sly, Kafkaesque humour, this astounding and frequently surprising masterwork should, quite simply, not be missed.

Leviathan hits theaters on December 31st.

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