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The 50 best films of 2015 in Australia – No 4: Leviathan

Continuing our countdown of the best movies released in Australia this year: a booze-fuelled Russian epic which had officials at the Kremlin steaming

• The Australian top 50 so far

Has 2015 given us any more full-blooded a film than Leviathan? Even the best of the rest feel watery lined up beside the 70% proof sucker-punch of this. Andrei Zvyagintsev’s contemporary Russian epic is a one-stop shop for those in search of love, sex, adultery, an exploration of the role of the man in the state, of faith and freedom, institutional corruption and insidious patriotism. And a lot of vodka.

The story, given the whopping sources (The Book of Job, the work of Thomas Hobbes, etc) is actually quite a lean beast: Nikolay (Aleksei Serebryakov) lives with his second wife, Lilya (Elena Lyadova from Zvyagintsev’s Elena), and moody teenage son in a modest villa overlooking a lake. It was built by his ancestors,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

New VOD and Digital HD Movies, Plus: 'The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water' Swims Home 2 Weeks Before Disc

  • Movies.com
Our resident VOD expert tells you what's new to rent and/or own this week via various Digital HD providers such as cable Movies On Demand, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and, of course, Netflix. Cable Movies On Demand: Same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pretheatrical exclusives for rent, priced from $3-$10, in 24- or 48-hour periods American Sniper (Clint Eastwood-directed action-drama about Navy Seal Chris Kyle; Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Cole Konis; rated R) Seventh Son (fantasy-adventure; Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Ben Barnes; also available in 3D; rated PG-13) Strange Magic (animated; voices: Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood; rated PG) Leviathan (2014) (Russian drama; Elena Lyadova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov; rated...

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See full article at Movies.com »

DVD Review: 'Leviathan'

  • CineVue
★★★★★ Living up to its title, there is an epic quality to Leviathan (2014), Andrey Zvyagintsev's tragic drama about corruption and impunity in modern Russia. Mechanic Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov) and his second wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova) are facing eviction from their home overlooking the Barents Sea in the north. It's in a prime position and the miscreant mayor, Vadim (Roman Madyanov), wants to bulldoze it and redevelop the land. Kolya enlists the help of his old friend Dimitri (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), now a city lawyer, who arrives from Moscow with damning evidence of the mayor's past misdemeanours. Leviathan starts as a simple tale of local corruption which serves to reflect the bigger picture in Russia.
See full article at CineVue »

Leviathan (2014) – The Review

Well, sometimes some confusion can be a good thing. When I was first aware of this film’s title, I thought that this may be a remake/reboot of the 1989 Peter Weller starring monster thriller with a massive CGI beastie akin to those from Pacific Rim or last Summer’s retooled Godzilla. Seems I was mistaken. Leviathan doesn’t concern itself with a colossal rampaging demon risen from the depths, but rather it’s a complex drama set in a dreary, Russian fishing village (yes, it has subtitles). The title doesn’t refer to a scaly giant that the film’s heroes must face. They instead must square off against an even more formidable adversary, for this leviathan is comprised not of claws and fangs, but corruption and the cruelties of fate itself.

The story begins as the sun rises over that Russian village, as Nikolay (Aleksey Serebryakov) heads away
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘McFarland USA’ To Close Santa Barbara Film Festival: Full Lineup

  • Deadline
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has unveiled its 2015 line-up which includes films representing 54 countries, 23 world premieres and 53 U.S. premieres. The U.S. premiere of Niki Caro’s McFarland USA will close out the 30th fest. Based on the 1987 true story and starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello, the film follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. The unlikely band of runners overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well.

The festival runs from January 27-February 7.

Below is the list of World and U.S. Premiere films followed by the list of titles by sidebar categories.

World Premieres

A Better You, USA

Directed by Matt Walsh

Cast: Brian Huskey,
See full article at Deadline »

'McFarland, USA' will close out 30th annual Santa Barbara Film Festival

  • Hitfix
'McFarland, USA' will close out 30th annual Santa Barbara Film Festival
A self-acknowledged "showcase for Academy Award frontrunners," the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is often overlooked for the actual films that earn it festival status. An amalgamation of international discoveries and ’merica’s circuit highlights, the Sbiff curates a week of best-of-the-best to pair with their star-praising. The 2015 edition offers another expansive selection, bookended by two films that aren’t on any radars just yet. Sbiff will open with "Desert Dancer," producer Richard Raymond’s directorial debut. Starring Reece Ritchie and Frieda Pinto, the drama follows a group of friends who wave off the harsh political climate of Iran’s 2009 presidential election in favor of forming a dance team, picking up moves from Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev thanks to the magic of YouTube. The festival will close with "McFarland, USA," starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello. Telling the 1987 true story of a Latino high school’s underdog cross-country team,
See full article at Hitfix »

The Gripping Russian Drama Leviathan Has a Desolate Beauty

  • Vulture
The Gripping Russian Drama Leviathan Has a Desolate Beauty
Set amid the decaying hulks of long-abandoned boats and beached whales in a forsaken coastal town on the edge of the Barents Sea, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s mesmerizing, melancholy Leviathan is an aestheticized Russian tragedy. It’s about the battle of the individual versus the state — a battle that has already been lost before we even arrive. Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov) is a mechanic living with his wife and son in an ancient seaside home. He’s being evicted off his property by Vadim (Roman Madyanov), a corrupt, gangsterish mayor who looks like a bratwurst squeezed into a suit. But the headstrong, tough-minded Kolya isn’t going anywhere; his family has lived here for decades. So, to help him fight back against Vadim, Kolya enlists his handsome, big-city lawyer friend Dmitri (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), who brings with him a binder full of dirt on Vadim, courtesy of some very powerful and unseen figures in Moscow.
See full article at Vulture »

Leviathan Movie Review

  • ShockYa
Leviathan Movie Review
Leviathan Sony Pictures Classics Reviewed for Shockya by Harvey Karten. Data-based on Rotten Tomatoes. Grade: B Director: Andrey Zvyangintsev Screenwriter: Andrey Zyvagintsev, Oleg Negin Cast: Alexey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Sergey Pokhodaev Screened at: Sony, NYC, 11/25/14 Opens: December 25, 2014 The principal character in Andrey Zvyangintsev’s “Leviathan” is one who during the two hours plus running time of the film becomes completely depleted. He is a lost soul not just metaphorically but a man who has literally lost his two wives, his son, his home, his spirit, his freedom. If that sounds similar to the fate of the biblical Job, which addresses the theme of God’s justice in [ Read More ]

The post Leviathan Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com.
See full article at ShockYa »

Leeds International Film Festival 2014 Review – Leviathan (2014)

Leviathan, 2014.

Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev.

Starring Aleksey Serebryakov, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Elena Lyadova and Roman Madyanov.

Synopsis:

In a coastal Russian town, Nikolay is forced to take on the corrupt mayor, when he threatens to demolish his home. His lawyer and best friend Dmitriy, digs up his dirt on the mayor, but that only brings more problems for Nikolay and his family.

Walking out of Leviathan, it’s difficult to talk about it without covering what’s already being said in the countless quotes and star ratings that adorn the posters and any review of the film you’ll ever read. Yes, it’s a tragic domestic drama, and at the same time, it’s a chilling critique of Russia under Putin – but that must have been lost on the country itself, as the Russian Ministry of Culture helped fund it, while refusing it a release not because of its contents,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Cannes: Sony Pictures Classics Buys Palme d’Or Frontrunner ‘Leviathan’ (Exclusive)

Cannes – Sony Pictures Classics has acquired U.S. and Canada rights to “Leviathan,” Russian master Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Cannes competition sensation which has proved one of the most applauded films in Cannes’ 2014 lineup.

Deal was negotiated through Friday night at the Cannes Festival.

A withering portrait of Russian state corruption and lack of justice, the Pyramide Intl.-sold “Leviathan” received raves from reviewers Friday – “Variety” called it a stunning satire – rapturous applause after its Friday public screening.

It weighed in Saturday as one of the frontrunners to snag Cannes Festival’s Palme d’Or or other major kudos at tonight’s Cannes awards ceremony.

Written by Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin, “Leviathan” is produced by Alexander Rodnyansky, whose wide-ranging credits include “Cloud Atlas,” “Stalingrad,” and “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.”

It stars Alexey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova and Vladimir Vdovichenkov. A loose retelling of the Book of Job, Zvyagintsev has explained,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Leviathan' director says Russian Ministry of Culture doesn't like potential Palme d'Or winner

  • Hitfix
'Leviathan' director says Russian Ministry of Culture doesn't like potential Palme d'Or winner
Cannes - Andrey Zvyagintsev is a brave man. He may not see it that way, but it was painfully obvious to everyone attending the Cannes Film Festival press conference today for his new film "Leviathan." Set in a small town in northern Russia, "Leviathan" centers on Kolia (Alexi Serebriakov), a man trying to stop the head of the local government (Roman Madianov) from annexing his family home. At the beginning of the film, Kolia's longtime friend and lawyer Dmitri (Vladimir Vdovichenkov) arrives from Moscow to help his case. Unfortunately, as the story unfolds Kolia's fortunes turn into a cascade of tragedies that no one can stop. Zvyagintsev was originally inspired by the story of an American worker rebelling against oppression, but by moving the story to his homeland he has purposely turned  it into a statement about Russia's current political climate and the disturbing influence of the Russian Orthodox Church.
See full article at Hitfix »

Curzon takes Cannes title Leviathan

  • ScreenDaily
Curzon takes Cannes title Leviathan
Exclusive: Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Competition entry sells to UK.

UK arthouse distributor Curzon has acquired all-rights to Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Cannes Competition entry Leviathan in a deal negotiated with Pyramide International.

Zyagintsev’s third film to launch at Cannes after The Banishment and Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize-winner Elena follows the owner of a small-town auto shop who comes into conflict with the local mayor.

Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Aleksey Serebryakov and actress Elena Lyadova (Elena) star in the drama from co-writers Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin (Elena, Banishment).

Producers are Alexander Rodnyansky and Sergey Melkumov, DoP is Mikhail Krichman and music comes from Philip Glass.

The deal means Curzon has two films playing in Competition this week, following their pre-buy of the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night.

Philip Knatchbull, CEO of Curzon, said: “We’re delighted to have wrapped up the UK rights ahead of Leviathan’s competition screening and to be working again with Pyramide International
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Cannes Check: Andrei Zvyagintsev's 'Leviathan'

  • Hitfix
Cannes Check: Andrei Zvyagintsev's 'Leviathan'
Welcome to the final entry in Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off tomorrow. Taking on different selections every day, we've examined what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. We close thing out, neatly enough, with what will also be the last Competition film to be unveiled on the Croisette: Andrei Zvyagintsev's "Leviathan."  The director: Andrei Zvyagintsev (Russian, 50 years old). Among the most highly regarded Russian filmmakers of his generation, Zvyagintsev's filmography is short but muscular, and routinely compared to work of his late compatriot (and admitted inspiration) Andrei Tarkovsky. Born to working-class parents in Siberia, he began his career as an actor, graduating from drama school in his home town of Novosibirsk before moving to Moscow to further train at the Russian Academy of Theater Arts.
See full article at Hitfix »

Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014: #4. Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan

  • ioncinema
Leviathan

Director: Andrei Zvyagintsev

Writers: Andrei Zvyagintsev and Oleg Nevin

Producer(s): Non-stop Production

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available

Cast: Elena Lyadova, Alexei Serebryakov, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Roman Madyanov

With a trio of deliriously exciting titles under his belt, the 2011 drama Elena (world premiere coverage) saw a resurgence in critical appreciation for one of the most exciting directors working in Russia over the past decade, Andrei Zvyagintsev. A socially conscious drama that sounds like highbrow science fiction, the director returns with screenwriter Oleg Nevin, who penned both Elena and The Banishment (2007). Zvyagintsev gave a rare interview in the earlier part of 2013 on the project, so, with a little luck, perhaps this will be ready in time for Cannes.

Gist: Described as a drama that that melts into tragedy as it depicts current day social problems, this a much more ambitious project than his last film, which also unites him with actress Elena Lyadova.
See full article at ioncinema »

Berlin: Pyramide Reteams With Zvyagintsev and Rodnyansky on ‘Leviathan’ (Exclusive)

Berlin: Pyramide Reteams With Zvyagintsev and Rodnyansky on ‘Leviathan’ (Exclusive)
Consolidating its relationship with Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev and producer Alexander Rodnyansky, Paris-based Pyramide Intl. has secured world sales rights to Zvyagintsev and Rodnyansky’s follow-up to “Elena.”

Rave-reviewed by key critics at Cannes in 2011 – Variety observed it was “mysteriously absent from competition” – the Pyramide-sold “Elena” closed Un Certain Regard, winning its Special Jury Prize.

Written by Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin, and starring Alexey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova and Vladimir Vdovichenkov, “Leviathan” turns on Nikolai who lives with his teenage son, Romka, and his young wife, Lilya, in a small town near the Barents Sea, in North Russia, in a little bay where the whales enter sometimes.

The corrupt local mayor is attempting to embargo Nikolai’s house, small auto-repair shop and lands, keeping them for himself. Nikolai calls in an old army comrade, now a hot-shot lawyer, who ultimately decides that the only way to fight back is to dig up dirt on the mayor.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

DVD Review - 360 (2011)

360, 2011.

Directed by Fernando Meirelles.

Starring Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Lucia Siposová, Ben Foster, Vladimir Vdovichenkov and Moritz Bleibtreu.

Synopsis:

An international look at what happens when partners from different social backgrounds engage in physical relationships, that ultimately intersect and interact.

.360 is a drama of ambitious scope, that skips through themes like heartbreak, desire and the importance of seizing the day during its globe-trotting runtime. It sets out with the grand intention of taking us on a tour of modern love and sex, aiming to unmask the universal reality of it all, by contrasting struggling prostitutes with high flying business types, and ultimately concluding that they all have their interacting problems of infidelity, lust and broken trust. The film comes in under the two-hour mark, this is not an overly lengthy essay, and yet it is perhaps extremely telling that I found my mind wandering vaguely towards, of all people,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

55th BFI London Film Festival - 360 (2011)

360, 2011.

Directed by Fernando Meirelles.

Starring Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Lucia Siposová, Ben Foster, Vladimir Vdovichenkov and Moritz Bleibtreu.

Synopsis:

A look at what happens when partners from different social backgrounds engage in physical relationships.

360 is a fitting opening night movie for a prestigious international film festival such as Lff. Featuring narratives that take us to Vienna, Bratislava, Paris, London and Denver, just to name a few, this multicultural character cocktail has an intriguing taste.

The movie focuses on characters from all over the globe, in what screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen) described as “romantically multicultural” stories. We have Blanka (Lucia Siposová), a Slovakian woman who wants to make more money by becoming an escort; Rose (Rachel Weisz), who is having an affair with a work colleague; John (Anthony Hopkins), a man on his way to America to identify a body that may be his long lost daughters’; Tyler
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

360 Premiere Kicks Off The Lff

360 Premiere Kicks Off The Lff
The BFi London Film Festival got off to a cracking start last night with the gala screening of Fernando Meirelles' 360, the globe-spanning ensemble piece starring Jude LawRachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins, Jamel Debbouze, Ben Foster, Moritz Bleibtreu and more.Law led the assembled stars alongside much of the film's European cast, including Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Lucia SiposováGabriela Marcinkova and Dinara Drukarova. Also in attendance that we spotted were Tom Hiddleston, Terry Gilliam and Bonnie Wright and much of Blighty's film industry movers and shakers.The London Film Festival continues until October 26; look out for 360 at cinemas all over early next year, we're guessing.In other Lff news, a couple of extra events have just been added to the schedule: there's a Seth RogenWill Reiser interview happening for 50/50, and a Woody Harrelson talk in connection with his new effort, Rampage. Get after it!
See full article at EmpireOnline »

Brad Pitt, George Clooney lead list of A-listers headed to Tiff 2011 – Awards Alley

By Sean O’Connell

Hollywoodnews.com: Brad Pitt, Keira Knightley, George Clooney, Carey Mulligan, Rachel Weisz, Gerard Butler and Ryan Gosling are heading to Toronto for the 36tht international film festival, which kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 8.

The fest today confirmed the hundreds of celebrities that will be attending the can’t-miss event, promoting films and making the rounds as the annual awards season starts to take shape.

Davis Guggenheim, Francis Ford Coppola, Alexander Payne, Luc Besson, Oren Moverman, Malgoska Szumowska, Bennett Miller, Sarah Polley, Jessica Yu, Michael Winterbottom and Werner Herzog are just a few of the filmmakers who have confirmed their attendance.

Celebrities making the trek include Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling, Clive Owen, Jon Hamm, Shahid Kapoor, Michael Fassbender, Michelle Yeoh, Freida Pinto, Glenn Close, Matthew Goode, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Salma Hayek, Viggo Mortensen and Woody Harrelson. Musicians U2, Pearl Jam and Neil Young also are expected to
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Toronto International Film Festival Rolls Out Red Carpet For 2011 Event

Toronto - The 36th Toronto International Film Festival® welcomes hundreds of guests this year. Filmmakers expected to present their world premieres in Toronto include: Davis Guggenheim, Francis Ford Coppola, Alexander Payne, Agnieszka Holland, Guy Maddin, Luc Besson, Bill Duke, Oren Moverman, Malgoska Szumowska, Bennett Miller, Darrell Roodt, Sarah Polley, Jessica Yu, Michael Winterbottom and Werner Herzog.

Actors expected to attend include Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Clive Owen, Gerard Butler, Jeon Do-Yeon, Jon Hamm, Shahid Kapoor, Michael Fassbender, Michelle Yeoh, Freida Pinto, Glenn Close, Matthew Goode, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Ryan Gosling, Salma Hayek, Viggo Mortensen and Woody Harrelson. Musicians include: U2, Pearl Jam and Neil Young.

The Festival also welcomes thousands of producers and other industry professionals bringing films to us.

The following filmmakers are expected to attend the Toronto International Film Festival:

Adam Shaheen, Adam Wingard, Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr., Agnieszka Holland, Akin Omotoso,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »
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