Elena - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Elena Reviews

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½ May 28, 2013
If you want to punish someone, make them watch this movie.
May 19, 2013
Dostoevsky on cellulose, 2012. A 'dutiful housewife' kills her arrogant millionaire husband for his inheritance to provide for her own descendants. Opens one moral gaping dilemma after another, leaving the viewer with so much to ruminate on. Russian cinema at its best.
½ April 14, 2013
Quiet and slow paced film that's very well made and relevant. Never boring, it has that important nerve, the build up is also pretty neat. A life drama with great acting and some changing themes. Both of the directors earlier films, "Izgnanie" and the fantastic "Vozvrashchenie" are better in most ways. This is less dreamy and feel more realistic so they really can't be put up to each other. A character-driven realistic piece that feels a bit flat and I wanted it to be more gripping really. In no way a bad film, but not a masterpiece either.

7 out of 10 powerplants.
April 7, 2013
watching the aggravating as hell deadbeat son and grandson really got the blood pressure going.
the score insinuated a climax; to be honest i was taken by surprise that it ended when it did.
March 29, 2013
Despite the daughter's beliefs that nobody is different and everyone is insignificant, Elena sacrifices her conscience to save her grandson. Little does she realize that saving him from physical danger does not protect him from a kind of war he is already a part of.
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2013
Masterfully controlled and filmed, this oddly beautiful and complex moral/amoral piece has stark and autumnal contrasting photography and simple shots that go on for just a bit longer than usual (much in the style of Michael Haneke). A fantastic music score from Phillip Glass too. Exceptional cinema.
½ February 25, 2013
Beautiful Frames,stunning cinematography,it looks so clean as to i was actually waiting for the camera to jerk..!!! Complex Human Psychology showed in the most simple way ! BeautiFul,so soft,so subtle in its approach.Totally Impressed...!
½ February 25, 2013
economical yet tense drama. highly enjoyable.
February 1, 2013
Beautifully directed & a wonderful score by Philip Glass this movie is enriched by wonderful actors playing out an intriguing moral dilemma. Fantastic film
½ January 21, 2013
Elena is the Bicycle Thieves of a century of video games, divided families, and distributed promise.
January 15, 2013
I have no idea how this happened, but in one short week on Netflix Instant Watch I was able to watch two great films, the Norwegian film Oslo, August 31st and acclaimed Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return) new Russian thriller
Elena which I proclaim as a masterpiece. The film is brilliantly crafted and engrossing from start to finish, it's very much a modern day Hitchcock thriller. The film is about a Middle-aged woman named Elena, who's a meek wife to her emotionally distant second husband, Vladimir. When he decides to leave his riches to his estranged daughter, Elena chooses to take drastic action to provide for her own adult son.The film observes class resentment in a very compelling and surprising matter.,Of course Zvyaginstey's observes it in empathetical matter , and at the same time it takes you in a direction that you least expect. At first you're led to believe that the title character Elena is a sympathetic woman that's just trying to take care of her lethargic unemployed son and his family, but gradually it's more about Elena's liberation, and her own liberation can ultimately bring her down a path that is even worse and more confined.. This film is filled with so much tension, with the help of a fantastic Phillip Glass score, and it has many surprising twists and turns. Unlike most thrillers with very familiar premises, you really get inside these characters. This is a great thriller-drama with so much to say about class discrepancy that just happens to elevate the thriller genre. This is one of the most brilliantly acted and masterfully directed films you will see this year. Rating **** out of ****
½ January 15, 2013
A minimalist affair that is light on the entertainment, heavy of the philosophy. A film for those craving well crafted, slow burning art that will leave you thinking.
January 9, 2013
It's a cruel World out there...sadly this film comments on people's true motivations and agendas all too often in life...set in Russia...
½ January 3, 2013
slow, tragic and very very good
½ January 3, 2013
Slow, tragic and very very good
December 31, 2012
Good. But not great.
½ December 24, 2012
For a fan of Russian cinema, film noir or just the much more subtle european style of film - this will be moderately enjoyable. Wonderful cinematography, excellent direction and the leads perform admirably with a sparse verbal script; yet one packed with visual nuance.
December 23, 2012
Elena is the type of film that invites you in from the very start, its very long takes and meticulous depiction of the quotidian both, hypnotic and strangely suspenseful. The cinematography and the spare use of music composed by Philip Glass make a potent combo, a perfect frame for Nadezhda Markina's fantastic central performance and the thought-provoking, slow-burn narrative.
½ December 21, 2012
Deux minutes de plan fixe sur le balcon d'un appartement cossu dans une grise banlieue moscovite. Tout le reste du film sera du même acabit, privilégiant l'épure et le silence pour donner à voir une Russie contemporaine, sinon une humanité dans son ensemble, qui fait froid dans le dos. Voici le portrait d'Elena, femme aux origines modeste, flanquée d'un fils inapte et alcoolique, mariée - et totalement soumise - à un homme riche, Vladimir, plus âgé qu'elle et lui-même flanqué d'une fille ingrate et nihiliste. Quand le vieux sent sa mort prochaine et entame la rédaction de son testament, le doute s'installe : à qui ira l'héritage alors que Elena a un besoin urgent d'argent pour entretenir son fils et les multiples enfants de celui-ci ? Dans le monde selon Andreï Zvaguintsev, les riches sont peut-être cyniques et égoïstes...mais les pauvres sont veules et profiteurs. Les perspectives se troublent : si on prend la morne existence d'Elena en pitié, sa conduite ultérieure n'en devient pas excusable pour autant. Et on serait tenté d'admettre qu'il y a beaucoup de bon sens dans la vision que Vladimir s'est forgée de son beau-fils. 'Elena' est un drame intime et familial parmi tant d'autres, certainement pas dépourvu de qualités, mais dont le visuel un rien poseur finit par irriter et qui ne témoigne que d'un mépris glacé envers le genre humain.
December 19, 2012
It evokes a feeling similar to when I watched Tuesday, After Christmas. Although the themes are quite different here, the styles of direction share some similarity: both are depressingly minimalistic. But Elena has something better: the Phillip Glass score. Its humors are also darker (naturally since the story is more outrageous any way).
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