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University Professor Mitya (Oleg Yankovskiy, who worked with Tarkovsky on The Mirror and Nostalgia) has just suffered the death of his wife. His teenage son, Petya, stricken with grief, suggests that his mother's death was caused by stress. Perplexed at this suggestion, Mitya rifles through his wife's belongings looking for clues and signs of her anxiety. He discovers a letter written by his wife, but not sent, which leads him to ex-solider Vanya. When the two men meet, they realise they were in love with the same woman. What follows is a beautifully crafted meditation on grieving and lives in crisis, as the men form a complex bond that draws them together.

With arresting visuals that provide a rich texture to the emotional landscape, The Lover boasts magnificent performances from the two men who share a profound loss, leading to an affecting conclusion.