Director Andrey Zvyagintsev's Loveless -- Russia's submission to this year's Academy Awards, and one of the five movies up for best foreign language film come Oscar night — begins with two parents screaming at each other about their upcoming divorce.
They're trying to sell their apartment, and it quickly becomes clear that their relationship is so toxic they'd probably sell their kid, too, if they could get away with it. Neither of them wants to take care of 12-year-old Aloysha (Matvey Novikov), who's sobbing quietly in the shower as they argue.
They don't see that. We do.
Once the shouting's over, the parents go on with their now-separate lives: Each has a new partner, and their divergent choices suggest just how doomed their marriage was. Dad (Aleksey Rozin) has already shacked up with his pregnant, very traditional Russian girlfriend. Mom (Maryana Spivak) is living what you might call a capitalism-on-steroids life with a rich, older businessman — dining in expensive restaurants, frolicking in his sleek penthouse.