Elegy (2008)



Critic Consensus: An intelligent, adult, and provocative Philip Roth adaptation that features classy performances, Elegy is never quite the sum of its parts.

Movie Info

Adapted from author Philip Roth's novel The Dying Animal, director Isabel Coixet's elegant tale of obsession explores the relationship between a highly respected professor (Ben Kingsley) and an impossibly gorgeous grad student (Penélope Cruz). As their relationship deepens, the professor finds his ego challenged by the girl's enchanting beauty. Dennis Hopper and Patricia Clarkson co-star.

Rating: R (for sexuality, nudity and language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Jean-Claude Larrieu, Nicholas Meyer
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 17, 2009
Box Office: $3.5M


as Consuela Castillo

as David Kepesh

as Kenneth Kepesh

as George O'Hearn

as Amy O'Hearn

as Younger Man

as 2nd Student

as Susan Reese

as 1st Student

as Administration Nurse

as Actor #3 in Play

as Actor #2 in Play

as Talk Show Host

as Consuela's Brother

as Actor in Play #1

as George's Girlfriend

as Cute Girl

as Charlie Rose

as 3rd Student
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Elegy

All Critics (119) | Top Critics (36)

With his fierce, impeccable craft Kingsley shows us around David's tortured, preening, desperate psyche.

Full Review… | November 10, 2008
Top Critic

Sparse, low-budget drama, helmed by Spaniard Isabel Coixet, intelligently translates Roth's meditation on lust and mortality without soft-pedaling its narrator's brutally honest, unabashedly sexist views.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Penelope Cruz is outstanding in an otherwise lame male fantasy.

October 18, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Elegy is a rare treat: a serious film that, thanks to Kingsley and the rest, doesn't seem to take itself too seriously.

Full Review… | September 4, 2008
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

A proven favorite, the Horny Old Devil Professor - Ben Kingsley in Isabel Coixet's intelligent but weepy drama.

Full Review… | August 15, 2011
East Bay Express

Your final affection for this literary treat of sorts is how well you accept the finale, which is touching, and intellectually potent, yet possibly one depressant too many.

Full Review… | July 29, 2011

Audience Reviews for Elegy


I liked it despite it's relatively low rating. It portrays the raw and sharp edges of lust and love. Kingsley is charming and Penelope is as beautiful as ever!

Saskia D.

Super Reviewer

I had initially rated Elegy much higher than this, but have changed that now with the review. I watched the film a couple weeks ago - and enjoyed it - but the thing is that absolutely nothing stuck around; there is absolutely nothing particularly remarkable about the film. Penelope Cruz is charming, feisty, and vivacious, but what else is new? The only other thing I remember at all, is that Ben Kingsley's character is terrible. I mean, he is convincing enough, but just completely dislikable. I'm not really that fond of Philip Roth's work in general. He's a bit of an old perv and that really shines through in his male characters - especially those professors who sleep with all their students, while cheating on their mistress. It's all overtly sexual, but not in a shocking way and not in an erotic way either. It's just kinky. The only problem with Miss. Cruz according to Mr. Kingsley is that she doesn't just love him for his stick. God forbid that she actually likes him as a person! And those are the three things to note about Elegy. So, I guess the film is watchable, but it is extremely flawed. Really there are more flaws than anything to pick apart to praise. There just isn't anything left.

Jake ....

Super Reviewer

This movie suxs, during first 30 min was going to give it 1 star, but as it continued and it kept hitting closer to home. Nothing short of 4 stars.

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Elegy Quotes

– Submitted by Andreea T (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Andreea T (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Andreea T (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Andreea T (3 years ago)

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