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Past Films

Elena

  • Starring: Aleksey Rozin, Andrey Smirnov, Nadezhda Markina, Yelena Lyadova
  • Director: Andrei Zvyagintsev
  • Genre(s): Drama
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Language: Russian (w/ subtitles)
  • Running Time: 109 min.

Elena is 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; she’s his dowdy former nurse who has clearly “married up.” Estranged from his own wild-child daughter, Vladimir openly despises his wife’s freeloading son and family. But when a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten the dutiful housewife’s potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan…(Zeitgeist Films)

"Shoot this film in black and white and cast Barbara Stanwyck as Elena, and you'd have a 1940s classic. "
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A breakthrough movie after its own fashion, a mysterious existential thriller that's brilliantly acted and masterfully directed, without a second of wasted screen time."
- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
"The script, by Oleg Negin and Zvyagintsev, uses spare dialogue to quietly devastating effect. Performances are superb across the board, framed in elegant widescreen compositions that simmer with violence."
- Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times
"A wise and impeccably controlled drama that finds Russian helmer Andrei Zvyagintsev in outstanding form."
- Justin Chang, Variety
"Beneath the noirish topicality of Elena, which won a special jury prize at Cannes last year, lies a bone-deep existential unease and spiritual alienation, a preoccupation with sin that is at once quintessentially Russian and wholly archaic."
- Ella Taylor, NPR
"This is a quiet, powerful film about the lengths we'll go to for the sake of the people we love - and the depths we'll sink to for the sake of the ones we hate."
- Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

Showtimes