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A family with an abusive father, a sensitive son, and a mother out of her depth: we see them when Michael is about 12 and when he's in his 30's, a writer of romance novels, going home for his mother and sister's college graduations. We go back and forth between the two periods: when Michael is a boy, the pressure builds until a break is threatened and there's a fight; during his trip home, there's an unexpected death, and renewed relationships between father and son, Michael and his aunt, and Michael and his aunt's young children. Michael's estranged wife joins them for the funeral. Written by
I agree with Raj Doctor, although I would rate the film higher.
The film was released in Russia with little publicity and became lost in the summer blockbusters. Without revealing information, the acting is excellent. The story is very indeed very realistic. If you find realism boring, then this is not a film for you.
The final third of the film, however, is missing. I have read that at the Berlin Film Festival, where the film premiered, it was announced to be 2 hours long, but the version in Russia is missing 20 minutes. Because the ending felt rushed while the rest of it was very well controlled, I cannot help but believe that this time was taken out of the final act. It's a shame really, because it could have been a great film. As it is, it is still a very good film that I recommend for the patient viewer.
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