Elegy (15)

Film

Romance

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Aug 5 2008

Men grow old, but do they really ever grow up? That’s the question posed by this astute adaptation of Philip Roth’s ‘The Dying Animal’, in which Ben Kingsley’s suave professor and all-round cultural guru preys on his female class members, but only after they’ve finished their courses with him so as to avoid harassment suits. While businesswoman Patricia Clarkson offers regular sexual companionship, the latest notch on this divorcee’s bed post is graduate student Penélope Cruz, whose beauty leaves him acting like a jealous teenager… not exactly what she’s expecting from the relationship.

Spanish director Isabel Coixet provides elegant Ivy League settings, but what’s most striking is the way she takes a male-dominated story about unashamedly sexist attitudes and turns it on its head to show textbook intellectual Kingsley undone by his underdeveloped emotional insights. Kingsley’s performance does better by the character’s self-satisfied over-confidence than the pain of unexpected vulnerability (in contrast to a less showy but telling turn from academic colleague Dennis Hopper, piercing in its resignation), yet it’s Cruz who’s the fulcrum of the piece.

Credible as an impressionable student under her tutor’s sway, she’s also a complex, exposed presence prompting both Kingsley (and, by extension, the audience) to look beyond the alluring surface and see the multi-faceted individual within. Overall, though, the film falls just short, due in no small part to unimaginative music selections (the same old Erik Satie and Arvo Pärt piano pieces again), which drain its individuality in favour of mere generic arthouse melancholia.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Aug 8, 2008

Duration:

112 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|8
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GreyziehSvensson-Sweden

Its a well done movie with its own elegant. Just like other said its a movie for grown ups.It's not only about sex but about realizing the true essence of life. Best movie...you will be inspire and try to squeeze the best essence of it!

GreyziehSvensson-Sweden

Its a well done movie with its own elegant. Just like other said its a movie for grown ups.It's not only about sex but about realizing the true essence of life. Best movie...you will be inspire and try to squeeze the best essence of it!

John Doe

Boring, predictable and full of cliches. Would be passable as a tv movie but no more. Don't waste your time and money.

Dev

This is a brilliant film for the grown ups. The story and the cast are excllent. Sir Ben and Penelope didnt disappoint.

Dev

This is a brilliant film for the grown ups. The story and the cast are excllent. Sir Ben and Penelope didnt disappoint.

mystic

An intelligent look at how a middle-aged professor in academia , played by a stodgy aging Kingsley, gives up his independence for an exotic Cuban student, played by a stunningly restrained Penelope Cruz (she looks 34 but is supposed to be 24) who is aroused by his culture and celebrity, he by her breasts. Jealousy and possessiveness inveitably insinuate themselves into this fragile relationship, later eroded by a poignant son who reminds him what a lousy father he had been.His sagacity fails him when he refuses to meet her parents and she is devastated and hurt by his lack of feeling. A final tragedy tests him further in coming to terms with himself. Three flaws: Why is Consuela alone in her hospital room and where are her parents and friends?. Surprisingly unmoving, but beautifully modulated and acted will delicacy with a fine movie score. Another flaw: Philip Roth is obsessed with menstruation and mentioning this in detail in almost every book/film is almost offensive. In "The Human Stain", this subject was even more offensive.

Paul C

I didn't notice the music enough to worry about it, but did enjoy an adult film at a cineplex surrounded by kidult films. This is a film about grown ups for grown ups, so see it if you have had enough of men in capes.

Paul C

I didn't notice the music enough to worry about it, but did enjoy an adult film at a cineplex surrounded by kidult films. This is a film about grown ups for grown ups, so see it if you have had enough of men in capes.