Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
A story of two Russian boys whose father suddenly returns home after a 12-year absence. He takes the boys on a holiday to a remote island on a lake that turns into a test of manhood of almost mythic proportions.
Letterboxd Festival 8
Andrey Zvyagintsev’s The Return is an enigmatic coming-of-age drama about two brothers and the return of their estranged father. Absent for 12-years, the father is little more than a stranger but the brothers have very different reactions to his unexpected reappearance. Whereas the eldest welcomes his new role model, wanting to please and be just like him, the youngest brother is mistrusting and resentful both of his absence and his questionable style of parenting.
Shot in cool blues and greys, the film is oppressive yet beautiful. The stillness of the camera allows you to take in every detail whilst the deliberate pacing heightens the film’s palpable tension and sense of impending doom. The relationship between the trio…
This was probably one of my most anticipated watches. In a very short span of time, director Andrey Zvyagintsev has gone from being unknown to me, to becoming one of my favourite directors; an auteur rubbing shoulders with the likes of Kubrick and Malick. This is pretty amazing considering I’ve only seen two of his films. I’m happy to say that The Return, a favourite of many of my LB friends, only further cements that position.
What I appreciate about Zvyagintsev the most is his deft skill at subtly weaving context into his very straight forward, and narratively economical, stories. Rarely is the symbolism worn on its sleeve, but rather quietly hinted it; so quietly in some cases that you’re…
''If you weren't so evil, I could love you like a father!''
A 'return' as such for this viewer to a modern Russian classic that needed a fresh perspective in light of my recent Tarkovsky explorations (the film is often referred as a gentle nod to the revered auteur), to see if I could get a better handle on it's possible allegorical and symbolic make-up. While the film can be read as a simple tale of 'the return' of a long absent and mysterious father figure who activates a psychological change in his two sons at a critical age in their development, Andrei Zviagintsev himself (in interviews) has alluded to a richer journey if Russian folklore and Christian mythology are…
The Return has been quoted by many as a haunting film and more intelligently deemed Kafkaesque by Roger Ebert but no where have I seen any stab at interpreting this mammoth beast. It's quite possible that director Andrey Zvyagintsev had no intended hidden meaning behind the mystery presented and it was the experience of the film that matters. I can certainly agree with that but the entire time watching I strongly felt that this ominous and prodigal father figure had to represent something larger than himself as his two sons equally embody the victims of this oppressive force. Perhaps if I had a more of a back knowledge in Russian history or even on the director's thoughts and ideas of…
A mythical, delicately powerful film with great performances and nice imagery.
Not quite everything added up for me.... To me, it's missing a traditional story arc which I think could have helped, but I have no doubt "The Return" will grow on me nicely over time. It has already.
I watched The Return in anticipation of director Andrey Zvyagintsev's newest film Leviathan. If it's as good as this one, I know I'm in for a real treat. The Return tells a story about two young brothers on a road trip with their estranged father, who suddenly returned after 12 years.
Konstantin Lavronenko is amazing as the father, a strict man with a mysterious past. The two young actors are also incredible, Ivan Dobronravov as the younger and Vladimir Garin as the older brother. The film does a brilliant job at showing the love and brotherly rivalry between the brothers, but especially the disdain they both have for their father after his unannounced return. They are confused, not knowing where…
The dreamlike cinematography throughout "The Return" gives the entire movie the feeling of a Grimm fairy tale - director Andrei Zvyagintsev further exploring such an atmosphere with the introduction of a pinnacle supporting character that makes the two young leads test their own brotherhood and viewpoints on the strange world they live in. The misadventures with the father they never knew is eerie, for sure. But the movie really puts us in place of the fragile little boy who may just be reading beyond the lines in this stranger's behaviors. Maybe he really does just want to love. The reveal to that character's intentions is where "The Return" garners its most perverse dynamic: the unreliable moral-skewing beneath elements of a bedtime story.
This great Russian movie has a great story. One of those that grabs you instantly and doesn't let go until the movie is over. The acting is very good. Especially the kids are great. It's about a father who returns after 12 years to see his sons and take them on a trip to a remote island. There he tries to teach the boys some life lessons in a very strict way which the boys are not used to and not waiting for as they went through a difficult period in theire lives and start a revolt. Especially Ivan who is wonderfully portrayed by Ivan Dobronravov has roblems adjusting to the situation. Also the father and son are played great.…
A great drama from Andrey Zvyagintsev.
Restricting information to what the boys would know. Don’t know where we’re going, or even where we are. Dad is making all the choices.
Its a film that shocked me... must watch
The title refers to the return of a father that two boys have never met. (It's hinted that he's been in prison.) He takes them on an outing to a remote island, obviously to do something for himself, and the boys happen to be along. While he will not win any father of the year awards, the younger brother makes him look like a saint for putting up with him. God, the younger son was annoying.
One note - don't expect to have answers to all your questions when the film ends.
This Russian film will do nothing to dispel the popular notion that the Soviets are a grim people. Very grim. But an outstanding movie! It might have been titled "Fathers and Sons II." Andrei and Ivan are the two brothers whose father unexpectedly shows up after a 12-year absence, never explained. He seems to want to make up for lost time in teaching them some lessons in manhood - and how! This farcical description does not do the movie justice - it was taut, suspenseful, gripping - the child actors were wonderful. No spoiler here - what was in the box? Also never explained, unless I missed it?
Slow and light on action, but at the same time captivating. Finale is earned and surprising. Epilogue draws on a little too long.
A blend of personal favorites and films that I consider to be the "greatest." Top two-hundred is definitive. Only 1940-2015.
Some of the greatest camerawork of all-time, in my opinion.