Deals with the most famous criminal in Czech Republic, the lawyer who continuously tries to free him; the circle of people on both sides of the law who want to keep him in jail and his infamous escape from prison.
A delivery Boy falls for a young girl who is hearing impaired. Comparing themselves with "water birds" and trees, together they are going to break the barrier and pursue their dreams and take their relationship to the next level.
Elena and Vladimir are an older couple, they come from different backgrounds. Vladimir is a wealthy and cold man, Elena comes from a modest milieu and is a docile wife. They have met late in life and each one has children from previous marriages. Elena's son is unemployed, unable to support his own family and he is constantly asking Elena for money. Vladimir's daughter is a careless young woman who has a distant relationship with her father. A heart attack puts Vladimir in hospital, where he realizes that his remaining time is limited. A brief but somehow tender reunion with his daughter leads him to make an important decision: she will be the only heiress of his wealth. Back home he announces it to Elena. Her hopes to financially help her son suddenly vanish. The shy and submissive housewife then comes up with a plan to give her son and grandchildren a real chance in life. Written by
Cannes Film Festival
Andrey Zvyagintsev's third film. His first film, The Return, made in 2003, is one of my favorite films of the previous decade (his sophomore feature, Banishment, never got distribution in the United States). I've been waiting forever to see something else by him. This is a huge disappointment, though. A very beautiful one, but still. It's very thin. Elena is a middle-aged woman married to an older man. She apparently stole him from his first wife (though their history isn't gone into deeply enough to know for sure). Elena wants him to lend money to her son and his family, who are having financial difficulties. Before he makes a decision about that, he has a non fatal heart attack. During his hospital stay, he reconnects with his estranged daughter from his first marriage. This strengthens his resolve not to help his stepson, which leads Elena to make a drastic decision. This film just takes forever with the set-up before it gets to any interesting plot development. The characters are mostly unlikeable and mostly two-dimensional. Even the lead, Elena, is fairly uncomplex. Actress Nadezhda Markina does well with her one big scene, but that's about it. Elena Lyadova, who plays Elena's step-daughter, has a couple of good moments, too, but she's not in the film enough to make an impression. There's one killer sequence that reminds one of the brilliance of The Return, but it feels like it's from a different movie (it applies to the main plot only metaphorically). All in all, this is a pretty but empty picture.
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