Elena, from the director of The Return. Now this is the first movie that I seen from this director, and I've heard of his films before, but now I'm very excited to watch The Return, which has been on my watch list for quite some time.
This impressively shot Russian film tells the story of, you guessed it, Elena, and her husband. Both of them had previous marriages before, and they both come from very different levels of economic backgrounds, meaning that Elena's family doesn't really have all that much money. She still loves her son and wants what's best for him, but is worried that he might have to join the army if he can't afford post-secondary education. The film's able to show some really interesting contrast between these divided societies in modern Russia.
The score for the film is great, and every shot is set up perfectly, and it's impressive to watch this director keep everything in place so well. The director's intent means a lot to me in a film, and it matters most when there's certainly behind it, and I can't honestly say that I can think of anything in this movie that seems unintentional. In any typical Hollywood movie, A picture of her son on the mirror would have had a close shot at least once but this movie doesn't treat you like you're dumb.
Yes, we should already understand that she cares a lot about her son, but instead of placing that prop there for the sole purpose of beating it into your head, it instead allows you as the viewer to notice it, and because of that, it's a nice little detail rather than blatant reinforcement.
This is an extremely well shot film, and though I can't say it's necessarily complex, I definitely benefited from a second watch. Certain subtleties that are scattered throughout the film easier to pick up once you've seen the whole thing.
Anyway, I thought this movie was great, and I'll be looking forward to seeing his other films.