Dmitry Medvedev

Russia's Oscar hopeful gains attention as US ties worsen

For the second time in four years, Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev is on the shortlist for a foreign-film Oscar, this time for "Loveless," a grueling examination of adults' misguided search for satisfaction and the child who suffers from their disappointment.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Zvyagintsev resisted being seen as a cultural ambassador for Russia — though he conceded that the worsening relations with the United States could bring his film elevated attention.

The director, who was nominated in 2015 for his powerful political fable of corruption in the magnificently bleak far north, "Leviathan," said it would be wrong to...