My five hundred favorite films (1940-2014)
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.
Why I watched this one? I get a lot of movies from my local libraries...I have no memory of why I picked out this one....I must be getting old.
What is this one about? From IMDb....In the Russian wilderness, two brothers face a range of new, conflicting emotions when their father - a man they know only through a single photograph - resurfaces.
My thoughts on this one? Wow I am in the minority here as I see The Return has an IMDb rating of 8.0...which is pretty high on that site....and way higher than I would rate it. Maybe I am too slow to pick up on the hidden meanings in this one. To me this was a slow…
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…
''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…
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…
Simply a damn good film.
A father-son reunion is typically complemented with a large array of emotions, and such is the case here. The special thing to me about this film was the fact that the themes did not stay confined to the reunion. Instead, the reunion served as the jumping point in the film for other dynamics to take hold. It's always rewarding as a viewer when a film takes simple but effective premise and manages to find unknown depths in other areas.
The first aspect that jumped out to me has to be the father getting reacquainted with his sons. The strong point here to me was the fact that the dad himself was a mysterious figure. Not…
The Return is a well acted, beautifully shot, and skillfully directed coming of age story that will likely haunt you for days after seeing it. It is an amazing feat for a first time director. Andrey Zvyagintsev clearly knows what he's doing behind a camera, and I look forward to seeing more of his work, especially Leviathan.
Incredible story of father and sons with a deeper meaning laid in the Biblical story of Christ with new pieces you recognize with each viewing. Highly recommend.
I struggled to keep my attention on this one. Troubled kids meet estranged Father and we watch as their confusion with the new relationship leads to trouble.
A bleak, primeval film whose frames fill improbably with the warmth of two brothers' love and the tentative attempts of a long-lost father to make up years of absence. Technically perfect, impermeably scripted, and tautly acted, this film is my favorite of all time.
Much more intimate than Leviathan, this is a slow-burner coming-of-age that is brilliantly executed (and the photography is just gorgeous), now I get all the buzz about this movie.
Looking forward to Elena but Zvyagintsev is proving to be one of the best new directors of this century.
If for nothing else, you should watch this movie over and over for the great work of its Cinematographer, Mikhail Krichman. Pause the movie anytime you wish and you'd get a magzine-cover-quality picture.
This was my first experience with Andrey Zvyagintsev and I am absolutely impressed. The level of pure and raw drama coming from this film is incredibly masterful and even more coming from a directorial debut. I am definitely going to check out all of his films.
The acting is simply phenomenal. I don't know russian but I do know a few phrases and expressions; these actors pulled them off incredibly. You could sense every sense of frustration and dramatic tension from every small detail that these actors gave. You expect a good performance from an adult actor but it's very rare to see one as good from a child actor. The child in this film was at the same level…
An immediate comparison I made with Leviathan about this film is how slow it started. It takes its time to carve the relationship between the father and the two brothers. Zvyagintsev seems to be a student in Tarkovsky's school of "just let the camera roll", but with slightly more movement.
In some sense this film is also a thriller, since the father's mysterious quest from place to place left the brothers (and the audience) keep guessing what kind of vague direction he's going to take them to. At some point we will have learned what kind of man the father was, yet he remains unpredictable and it keeps you guessing what this all will lead to.
I will say when…
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Lilya 4-Ever
- Dancer in the Dark
- Life Is Beautiful
- The Tree of Life
- The New World
- The Better Angels
Some of the greatest camerawork of all-time, in my opinion.
- The Pitfall
- The Night of the Hunter
- Dead Man's Letters
- Reservoir Dogs
What are the great directorial debuts?
To be clear, I am talking about feature debuts - they may have worked…