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Elsa y Fred (2008)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 14

Boosted by charming performances by the octogenarian leads, Elsa and Fred overcomes its schmaltzy premise to make for a satisfying romantic tale.


Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 9

Boosted by charming performances by the octogenarian leads, Elsa and Fred overcomes its schmaltzy premise to make for a satisfying romantic tale.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.4/5
User Ratings: 5,300

My Rating

Movie Info

Two aging Spanish widowers find their fading passion for romance unexpectedly rekindled during a visit to Rome's Trevi Fountain in this romantic comedy starring China Zorrilla and Manuel Alexandre. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Jul 5, 2006

Mitropoulos Films - Official Site External Icon

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June 30, 2008:
Critics Consensus: WALL-E Is the Best-Reviewed Film of 2008
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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (14) | DVD (2)

In the end, only the veteran actors playing Elsa and Fred make the movie watchable.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This starts to get interesting in the homestretch, as the woman's chronic deception begins to catch up with her, but for the most part it's an extended Geritol commercial.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Elsa & Fred feels not substantial enough to bear the weight of its themes. It dissolves like cotton candy, making proper digestion impossible.

July 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For some, the movie will be an emotional paean to love at the twilight of life; to others, though, it's a contrived, manipulative film calculatedly sentimental and -- except for poor Alfredo -- totally false to life.

July 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Elsa & Fred is worth seeing just to admire how Argentine writer-director Marcos Carnevale avoids so much as a whiff of condescension.

July 18, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A sweet but inconsequential romantic comedy.

July 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Marcos Carnevale makes sure to get his ticket punched at every station in this journey through cinematic convention.

September 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Playback:stl

Who would have guessed that, in this age of excess and one-upmanship, when bigger is always better, the year's most romantic screen kiss would last a mere two seconds.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The dream fulfillment seems more silly than romantic, and it brings the movie to an abrupt end that is wholly unsatisfying.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

When one thinks of on-screen chemistry, rarely, if ever, do you think of characters in their seventies.

July 22, 2008 Full Review
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

This little gem will have the mature moviegoer completely under its spell.

July 22, 2008 Full Review
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

Elsa is obsessed with the "Fontana di Trevi" sequence from La Dolce Vita, but that's only a reminder that the aging Fellini once accomplished far more effective films about old age and second chances.

July 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Convincingly proves even to teens (not likely to be in the audience, unfortunately), that you're never too old for romance.

June 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Compuserve

Marcos Carnevale's patronizing take on the relationship between an elderly widow and widower in Madrid unspools like the vision of a middle-aged person intent on propagating stereotypes about youthfulness and the golden years.

June 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

The transformation of a fear-based man by a Zorba-the-Greek-like woman with a zest for life, enthusiasm, and creative daring.

June 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Elsa y Fred

Absolutely charming, lovely little film that is sweet, funny, and a little bit sad. A little slow paced, but not at all boring. These two elderly people were quite enjoyable to watch. Plenty of laugh out loud chuckles...and definitely many, many smiles....
December 16, 2011

Super Reviewer

Very good movie I know everyone excepts kids maybe would like to see and enjoy. Aging widowers Elsa and Fred visit the Trevi Fountain in Rome, the landmark from Fellini's "La Dolce Vita", and the experience rekindles their passion for love.
August 1, 2008
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

In "Elsa and Fred," Fred(Manuel Alexandre) is a recent widower who sells his house and moves into a smaller apartment with his dog Bonaparte. Flush with cash, his son and daughter-in-law hope he will loan them the money for a new business. His new neighbor is Elsa(China Zorrilla), a much less recent widow with two grown sons, one she supports and the other manages her money for her. She also claims to have resembled Anita Ekberg in her prime.

"Elsa and Fred" is a mediocre movie that desperately wants to be likable with the timeworn theme of enjoying your life because time is short. And you know senior citizens should lead their own lives and not be used simply as ATM's, right? However, it suffers from a grating lead performance and reinforces more stereotypes than it challenges. In the end, it is the kind of movie that should have been made in Hollywood, since there would have at least been enough star power to distract from the lack of substance.
January 3, 2010
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

I loved this movie a whole lot.
August 6, 2007

Super Reviewer

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