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Loveless (#110 of 3)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Foreign Language

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Foreign Language

Sony Pictures Classics

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Foreign Language

The surprising snub of Fatih Akin's Golden Globe-winning In the Fade, a film that suggests a willfully trendy episode of Law & Order: Berlin that weirdly plays out from time to time on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey, was supposed to make calling this award easier. Andrey Zvyagintsev's Loveless, Ildikó Enyedi's On Body and Soul, and Ruben Östlund's The Square are all, to varying degrees, esoteric in ways that have proven to be anathema to AMPAS voters, so it isn't worth entertaining the possibility of them prevailing. And as A Fantastic Woman hits so many buttons, not to mention that melodramatic sweet spot that has pushed such dire films as Juan José Campanella's The Secret in Their Eyes and Alejandro Amenábar's The Sea Inside to victory here, to bet against Sebastián Lelio taking the podium seems unwise.

BFI London Film Festival 2017 Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless

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BFI London Film Festival 2017: Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless

Sony Pictures Classics

BFI London Film Festival 2017: Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless

We tend to think of the family as a space for love and the child as representative of the new. Loveless exposes families to be, instead, havens of hatred and the child as nothing but a fresh container for an ancient history of gloom. Zhenya (Maryana Spivak) and Boris (Aleksey Rozin), soon to be divorced but still living under the same roof, repeat the same emotional indifference that was passed on to them by their parents. But their son, Alyosha (Matvey Novikov), stages an intervention in their genealogical tree of horrors by fleeing their home. No one seems to have ever wanted him—and it’s only when he goes missing that he seems to merit parental attention. Not that he ceases to be a nuisance ready to be shipped to a boarding school followed by a military career, which is what Zhenya desires, but because now the adults have to respond to societal demands of his whereabouts.

No Love Lost: My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless Turns 25

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No Love Lost: My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless Turns 25
No Love Lost: My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless Turns 25

At this point, to add even another sentence of fawning, if well-deserved, praise for My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless seems pointlessly tautological. Yes, a quarter century after an album’s release is theoretically a prime moment to reflect on its legacy and influence. But that legacy was secured nearly as soon as Kevin Shields’s symphony of noise was released, at which point its revolutionary layers of guitar effects immediately began inspiring a generation of music nerds and gear geeks to start their own bands. After all, the album, along with My Bloody Valentine’s debut, Isn’t Anything, almost singlehandedly spurred the formation of an entirely new genre in shoegaze.