Vladimir and Elena are an older couple who met late in life. Vladimir is rich and cold; Elena is deferential and devout. After Vladimir has a heart attack, he must decide who to leave his money to, and Elena faces a terrible choice…
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Zvyagintsev is Russia's Hitchcock here. Philip Glass slays.
ELENA may just be a little too merciless, colder than LEVIATHAN (his true masterpiece), but I have yet to feel anything but a deep admiration for Zvyagintsev's power. His opening and closing shots are scrumptious in an evil sort of way. I can't wait to poison my rich husband.
I have thought that I was watching a haneke film. Story was so simple ,but it showed us terrifying side of social capital order .this is not a movie about money , decisions or relationships .
we are part of this story, this is modern life. Very clever movie.
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.
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.
This is just another home invasion horror flick Not as gory as Them or The Strangers, but equally brutal, because there is nothing more tragic than class struggle. Gold diggers make excelent nouveau riche.
Zvyagintsev has a fantastic sense of filmmaking (also evident in “the Return” and “The Banishment”) and this is another gem of european modern cinema. Review and rating: http://alwayswatchgoodmovies.blogspot.com/2012/02/elena-2011.html