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11-13-2012, 11:35 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Toronto
Country: Canada
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Elena (2011), directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev: Elena is a middle aged woman who might have been slim and pretty once, but that was a long time ago. She's on her second marriage to a middle-aged man who is on his second marriage, too, and he has seen better days as well. They have an ultra-modern house and a comfortable, if distant, relationship. Neither likes their partner's kid from their first marriage, and the movie makes clear that they both have a point regarding their distaste. Elena's kid is a useless slug; Vladimir's kid is a privileged brat. Turns out, blood is thicker than water, though. While the movie plays its cards close to its vest, it ends up being a deliciously cynical black comedy elegantly directed and superbly acted. Even the faux Phillip Glass-type score suits the movie to a tee. This is one of those rare movies where you can see everybody's point of view as making a lot of sense. Yet, in the end, the audience is left in something of a quandary, albeit one that has been very carefully constructed. It is possible that this film is a backhanded compliment to the Russian peasant's ability to survive. It is also possible that the film is a condemnation of that same peasant's narrow-mindedness and moral relativism. A very, very smart, brilliantly directed movie.


Top Ten 2012 so far

1. Amour, Haneke, France
2. A Simple Life, Hui, Hong Kong
3. Rhino Season, Ghobadi, Iran
4. No, Larrain, Chile
5. A Royal Affair, Arcel, Denmark
6. Oslo, August 31, Trier, Norway
7. Elena, Zvyagintsev, Russia
8. Tabu, Gomes, Portugal
9. Skyfall, Mendes, US
10. Norwegian Wood, Tran, Japan

Last edited by kihei: 11-14-2012 at 02:50 PM.
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