very conflicted I'd have thought but not cold at all
Near perfect, complete experience. True cinema. Zvyagintsev had already proven himself capable with THE RETURN, yet with ELENA, he exceeded expectations. What a cinéaste.
It begins the way many traditional japanese dramas of the 40's and 50's began, but the class conflicts and family preocupations of yore are given a post-modern perspective where the moral standpoint of the main character becomes increasingly faded and volatile, to the point where her decisions are not so easily justified or reprehensible. Shot with skill and a startling sense of atmosphere, this film stays with you.
The tense, expectant atmosphere and prowling camera movement of Zvyagintsev's "The Return" are present, but without the powerful and unsettling effect of his debut film. The story of Elena as an essentially kept woman is squandered in favour of a feeling of ennui. However, as usual with Russian films, the quality acting is a (alas, only partial) compensation. (Russians make my favourite actors!)
Quietly engrossing drama about a woman whose husband refuses to help take care of her struggling son and his family. When he decides to leave them out of his will completely, she must resort to unthinkable measures to ensure their well being. Anchored by a strong central performance, the film is a study in understated suspense and unspoken pain.
violent without blood, and intentionally cold, like the relations between the characters. like the rarefied air of two different suburbs, two fates of death in the contemporary Russia, bound together by the same call of crows in the streets...
Liked this very much, visually beautiful, nicely paced, wisely told. Music score - perfect. Wondefully nuanced performance from Nadezhda Markina.
De Zvyagintsev ya habia visto El Retorno, esta pelicula comparte solamente el estilo filmico, los encuadres y la iluminacion en interiores (que el retorno tuvo muy pocas escenas asi). Es un drama de un punto de vista muy interesante, como una persona toma decisiones muy dolorosas y que pueden doblegar el espiritu por un bien mayor, su familia, la cual parece no merecerla.
Zvyagintsev gets into full Chabrol mode: suspense, class divisions, familial dynamics. ELENA is a maturation and extension of this new auteur's style and interests. Also features the most perfect use yet of Philip Glass' minimalist music.
I love the scouring of every corner and view of the condo's interior, where each cut or pan reveals the depth of a lingering shot or the breadth of a suspended emotion and an overriding mood. Katya is another fantastic element, although neither factor greatly into the domestic plateau of a film.
A slow-paced, engaging meditation on money vs morals and blood vs water in this Russian defacto-family drama. Elena, from a lower class has remarried a wealthier man, who is also a miser has her loyalties tested when her husband falls ill. Beautifully photographed, great performances and the slightly unsettling feeling that all is not well in modern Russia. Not as engaging for me as the recent Silent Souls. 3.5 stars
Voltemos ao necrotério frio dO RETORNO, onde duas crianças molestam a figura do patriarca, voltemos à impunidade de THE BANISHMENT, onde um homem obriga a mulher a abortar de uma criança que não era o pai. Zvyagintsev os retrata – impiedosamente – como intrusos, como estrangeiros. Seres miseráveis. E sua autoridade grita aos moribundos – À Elena, afinal – que a igualdade e a fraternidade só existem no reino dos céus.