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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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
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
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...