Beanpole ★★★

Had to see this after hearing it won for Directing in the Un Certain Regard selection at Cannes. 

The story was indeed bleak, and the characters almost despicable. At the end of the day, I did not have a care for any of the characters really.

However, the direction is so solid. The best thing to come out of it (which is why I'm giving it this rating and not anything lower) is the stunning visual design. The cinematography is just so vivid it made the dreary environment of Russia during this era something so beautiful to watch. It complemented everything in the most vibrant way.