Beanpole ★★★★

Perhaps the most uncompromisingly bleak and unforgiving of the films I've seen from 2019 (most certainly not popcorn fare), this unhurried, unsparing drama depicts the untold horrors of peace time Soviet Russia following the second world war and the experience of women in particular. Following two women who form a profoundly intimate relationship through shared suffering (a stunning pair of performances), it is truly a harrowing yet rewarding watch that shows a remarkable auteur with the empathetic film making abilities of a seasoned veteran.