Elegy

2008

Elegy

Critics Consensus

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

74%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 121

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 72,710
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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.

Cast

Penelope Cruz
as Consuela Castillo
Ben Kingsley
as David Kepesh
Peter Sarsgaard
as Kenneth Kepesh
Dennis Hopper
as George O'Hearn
Deborah Harry
as Amy O'Hearn
Antonio Cupo
as Younger Man
Michelle Harrison
as 2nd Student
Chelah Horsdal
as Susan Reese
Emily Holmes
as 1st Student
Marci T. House
as Administration Nurse
Alessandro Juliani
as Actor #3 in Play
Tiffany Lyndall-Knight
as Actor #2 in Play
Andre Lamal
as Talk Show Host
Kris Pope
as Consuela's Brother
Julian Richings
as Actor in Play #1
Tania Saulnier
as George's Girlfriend
Laura Mennell
as Cute Girl
View All

News & Interviews for Elegy

Critic Reviews for Elegy

All Critics (121) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (90) | Rotten (31)

  • Coixet has blunted the impact of the novel's ending just as she has softened Roth's misanthropic depiction of Kepesh and, as a result, she's taken flak for being over-polite. I didn't care.

    Apr 10, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • With his fierce, impeccable craft Kingsley shows us around David's tortured, preening, desperate psyche.

    Nov 10, 2008 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Oct 18, 2008
  • Penelope Cruz is outstanding in an otherwise lame male fantasy.

    Oct 18, 2008
  • Elegy is a rare treat: a serious film that, thanks to Kingsley and the rest, doesn't seem to take itself too seriously.

    Sep 4, 2008 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A remarkable example of the actor at his best -- conveying wounded hurt or burning hunger with a glance.

    Aug 29, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Elegy

  • Nov 16, 2010
    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! <div style="width:800px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/elegy-official-film-still-11570709"><img src="http://content7.flixster.com/photo/11/57/07/11570709_gal.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com">
    Saskia D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 23, 2010
    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
  • Sep 17, 2010
    David Kepesh (Ben Kingsley) is an aging intellectual who's kept himself free of emotional attachments but somehow he finds himself falling for Consuela Castillo (Penelope Cruz), a student in his class about 30 years younger. The age difference of the two characters eventually becomes a barricade on the development of the relationship because he doesn't believe that younger a woman can stay with him and doesn't want the disappointment of being dumped. The two lovers break up and only meet again a couple of years later when Cruz shows up on Kingsley's doorstep, diagnosed with breast cancer. Dennis Hopper plays George, David's best friend while Peter Sarsgaard plays Kingsley's estranged son who is married, but having an affair with another woman and the bewitching Penelope Cruz spends a lot of time topless. Based on a novel by Phillip Roth, this film explores a man's many regrets, failings, and losses. It starts out quite nicely with the couple's initial attraction, satisfying one's sexual needs and desires; without considering the ramifications of their actions; until the last fifteen minutes, when the film becomes bathed in sentimentality and unnecessary pathos.
    Deb S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2010
    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 B Super Reviewer

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