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Actors and critics take turns weighing in on Loveless chances at the Oscars

The film has been nominated for an Oscar in the best Foreign Language Film category
Andrei Zvyagintsev seen during the filming of "Loveless" Sony Pictures Classics via AP
Andrei Zvyagintsev seen during the filming of "Loveless"
© Sony Pictures Classics via AP

MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. Actors who starred in the Andrey Zvyagintsev’s 2017 film Loveless, as well as Russian film critics, have tried to assess the odds of the film receiving an Oscar in the run-up to the 90th Academy Awards ceremony on March 4 in Los Angeles.

The film has been nominated for an Oscar in the best Foreign Language Film category, and tells the story of a couple, (Maryana Spivak and Aleksey Rozin) who are searching for their missing 12-year-old son, while on the verge of a bitter divorce. A volunteer search operation joins in their efforts.

"Actors are superstitious, so we are not weighing in our chances, we’re crossing our fingers and waiting for the results," said lead actress Maryana Spivak. "It’s the same way that we waited to find out whether the film would make the Oscar shortlist. We are hoping, we have faith, we really want to win, we are worried, but it’s hard to be objective about your own work."

"I like the Oscars, the Americans did a great job in managing to create a truly prestigious award, said Aleksey Rozin, Loveless’ leading male character. "It’s a thankless job for me to evaluate Loveless chances at the Oscars. There are many people who do that, gather analytical material, and make their professional forecasts."

Actor Aleksey Fateev, who played the search coordinator also declined to weigh in on the chances the film has at the Academy Awards. "I can’t comment on anything, because I’ve seen very little of what will be at the Oscars. It’s hard to make a prediction, when you don’t know your competition well. I will be delighted and overjoyed if we win, but I can’t make any forecasts, because I don’t know who we are up against." Fateev explained.

He added that the Oscars are not the Olympics, and that there is no interest in setting athletic records. "In any case, it’s wonderful that everyone will see the film. In this case, not just Europe, but the United States as well. The film will be seen on all continents, in various languages. Without a doubt, a victory would be great, but I think it is more important that the film will be seen around the world."

"When Russia nominated this film for the Oscars, the chances were one out of 90, that’s how many countries submitted their work," said Kirill Razlogov, the president of the Russian Film Critics Guild.

"Now the film made it to the shortlist of five films, so the chances are one in five. I think the odds are good, Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan was already nominated for an Oscar, but didn’t get it. So, maybe this year, the deck will be stacked in his favor," Razlogov said.

"I don’t like to make any forecasts, said Russian film critic Anton Dolin, "but what I can say is that the voting for the Best Foreign Language Film may be unpredictable, and any of the five films could win. Not theoretically, but it could very well happen."

Dolin went on to highlight the strong points of Zvyagintsev's picture. "I think that Loveless is the most emotional, touching and piercing of all the nominated films," he explained. Aside from that, I think that the story told in this film is highly universal. What people see in it is a reflection of modern Russia, exclusively. I don’t think that’s true. I think that a person living in any country, in any culture, can become emotionally attached to a story of a painful divorce, of married couple in the process of a divorce that loses a child. That is the strong point of Loveless," he said.

Loveless premiered at the 70th Cannes Film Festival this past spring, where it received the Cannes Jury Prize.

Since then, the film has also received the Munich International Film Festival Grand Prix and the Times BFI London Film Festival Best Film Award.