Elsa & Fred (2008)



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

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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.
PG (for some mild thematic elements and language)
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama , Romance
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Written By:
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Critic Reviews for Elsa & Fred

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (16)

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

August 1, 2008
Seattle Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | July 31, 2008
Washington Post
Top 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.

Full Review… | July 24, 2008
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | July 18, 2008
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A sweet but inconsequential romantic comedy.

Full Review… | July 17, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Elsa & 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....

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

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.

Walter M.
Walter M.

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.

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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