The 50 best films of 2018 in the US: No 3 – Loveless

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s stark drama about the dire fallout to a toxic marriage was a loud dissenting cry from within Russia

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Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless is a film with a brutally informative adjective for a title. It applies to the toxic, failed relationship at the heart of the drama, but also to everything around the unhappy man and woman, to the very air that they breathe. Modern, aspirational Russia seems in this film to be grasping, unforgiving, a spiritual wasteland of materialism and selfie narcissism, like a distant planet that has lost the means to support life. It is a stark, mysterious, painful film in the high European tradition of Bergman, Antonioni and Haneke.

Related: Leviathan director Andrei Zvyagintsev: ‘Living in Russia is like being in a minefield’

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