Elena

Elena

DVD - 2012 | Russian
Average Rating:
14
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A gripping, modern twist on the classic noir thriller. Sixty-ish spouses Vladimir and Elena uneasily share his palatial Moscow apartment. He's a still-virile, wealthy businessman, and she's his dowdy former nurse who has clearly 'married up.' When a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten the dutiful housewife's potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan.
Publisher: [United States] : Zeitgeist Films, 2012
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (109 min) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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e
empbee
Mar 18, 2016

Good movie. The conversation between father and daughter is well done. It says a lot.
The action of a dutiful mother is sad. Her action is not done out of love but maybe she sees it as justice. The meaningless life for both rich and poor is portrayed.

m
ms_mustard
Jan 06, 2016

how does a woman choose to survive when her life is about to take a sudden turn for the worse?

the director - who also did Leviathin - prides himself on the silences in this film.

the first Russian film I've seen that showed life in the upper class

0
0cho
Aug 10, 2015

This movie is very interesting to see the differences between the classes in Russia and the way they live. This movie is extremely slow, I mean the first 5 minutes you watch a crow do nothing. Overall the story is nothing special and for me very unrealistic. She goes from loving the guy to killing the guy overnight. Really!!! Give this movie a pass, not a very worthwhile foreign movie.

noir125 Jul 23, 2015

Smartly, naturally directed and acted on a frank, lush backdrop of 21 C Russia city life. It's pleasing to see a woman betrayed rectify things when the odds are against her and where tribal, personal justice triumphs and a narrower, legal justice would not.

t
ThomasJWhiting
May 24, 2015

I couldn't find and/or figure out how to turn on English subtitles...

n
ncs1961
Feb 24, 2015

well, Nursebob really said it all, and said it well. I'll only add that subtitles add nuance in a way I didn't expect.

n
Nursebob
Dec 31, 2014

Elena is a quiet, docile woman whose life seems to revolve around playing housemaid to her wealthy older husband Vladimir and doting on Sergey, her good-for-nothing son from a previous marriage and his equally useless family. Although loving in his own way, Vladimir refuses to support Sergey claiming the unemployed lout needs to get his own act together and start taking responsibility for his wife and kids. But when Elena’s cretinous grandson Sasha is faced with mandatory military service due to poor grades at school only a sizable bribe will buy his way into college; a bribe Vladimir refuses to provide. Desperate to help the boy, Elena hatches a diabolical plan to ensure her son’s family receives all the money they need. Although couched in the conventions of film noir this bleak tale of one desperate woman driven to extreme measures speaks volumes on Russian society. The stark contrast between upper and lower classes is made glaringly evident as Elena travels by taxi, bus and train from her elegantly appointed condo overlooking a quiet city park to Sergey’s decrepit apartment block squatting in the shadows of a nuclear power plant. Suspended between both worlds Elena cannot understand why her husband exhibits an apparent lack of charity towards those less fortunate (even if they brought it upon themselves) yet shamelessly spoils his own daughter who is every bit as useless as Sergey. “Why do you think you’re so special...” she says accusingly at one point, “...just because you have money.” With long, beautifully framed shots and a pounding yet subtle orchestral score by Philip Glass director Andrei Zvyagintsev maintains an aura of almost subliminal tension coupled with a touch of contemporary angst. His ending, when it comes, is a masterful stroke of unspoken guilt and sobering satire hinting at darker days to come.

b
BertBailey
Dec 01, 2014

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30234194

Nineteen copies(!), I just saw; amazing. Tried to watch it but gave it a pass on the grounds of lack of excitement, which I wanted. But I now see (http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2014/dec/08/the-10-best-films-of-2014-no-5-leviathan) that its director has made one of the great flicks of 2014, starring the leading lady from this one. So I'll borrow it again and try not to be so shallow this time.

madison382 Nov 02, 2013

Really good movie, with equally good acting.

btmslt Oct 17, 2013

This film demonstrates the differences between the classes in Russia but is very slow moving and becomes tedious at times.

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