- English subtitles
Joy Division, 1979: When routine bites hard, And ambitions are low, And resentment rides high, But emotions won’t grow, And we’re changing our ways, Taking different roads.Then love, love will tear us apart. Love, love will tear us apart again.
Choosing between the many defining moments in the Russian relationship drama Another Year is no easy feat. Is it the song Love will tear us apart at the alcohol-fuelled company party, the extremely intimate sex scenes or the moment they throw away the floral-printed double mattress? All three scenes are equally intense and significant, and they are all proof of director Oksana Bychkova’s unmistakable talent. Her delicate character study shows Russian twenty-somethings Yegor and Zhenya, who married when they were very young, heading straight for divorce – unless they manage to turn things around. From December 27th onward, the film shows the couple slowly drifting apart over the course of a full year.
Yegor (Alexey Filimonov) and Zhenya (Nadya Lumpova) have been together for ever. It shows. In the way they bicker as they shop for winter clothes, the way they discuss their yearly options for spending New Year’s Eve, and in the intimate, warm and familiar way they make love. Everything changes when Zhenya starts a new job at a trendy Moscow editorial office and begins to realize how little Yegor has changed, or shown any ambition, since they got together. This obviously fuels his insecurity, and slowly, the two start to drift apart. But can they really live without one another?
Another Year’s delicate screenplay combined with Nadya Lumpova’s stellar performance as Zhenya make it one of 2014’s must-see movies. It is rare for a film to really allow you to connect to the characters without feeling the presence of the director. Comparisons to La Vie d’Adele and Derek Cianfrances’ Blue Valentine are self-evident, and just like in those films, we have a hard time parting with the couple we have shared so much with over the course of 107 minutes. An impressive achievement, that was justly awarded with The Big Screen Award at IFFR last year.