Beanpole

Beanpole ★★★½

Single White Russian Female. That's a reductive summary of Kantemir Balagov's assured second film, but it's too easy a pun to give up, even if it only scratches at the surface of its fraught sexual politics. I'm not totally convinced that the film justifies a 2hr 17 minute running time (what can?), and it stumbles a little in its characterisation of Masha, the object of Beanpole's affections/frustrations, but there's so much that's memorable and impressive here. Kseniya Sereda's lush cinematography, especially, is to die for, perfectly feeding into the movie's deliberate parsing of hot and cold in its protagonist.