Winner of Cannes' Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize, Elena is a gripping, modern twist on the classic noir thriller. Sixty-ish spouses Vladimir and Elena uneasily share his palatial Moscow apartment--he's a still-virile, wealthy businessman; she's his dowdy former nurse who has clearly "married up." Estranged from his own wild-child daughter, Vladimir openly despises his wife's freeloading son and family. But when a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten the dutiful housewife's potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan.... Masterfully crafted by award-winning Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev (Golden Globe nominee The Return) and featuring evocative, Hitchcockian music by Philip Glass, Elena is a subtly stylish exploration of crime, punishment and human nature.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
Performances are superb across the board, framed in elegant widescreen compositions that simmer with violence.Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times, 05.24.2012
Here's a tip: Don't feel. Think. Zvyagintsev wants you to come out of "Elena" thinking something, and if your realization is an uneasy one, that's OK with him.Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 06.08.2012
"Elena" reveals a filmmaker in full command of his art and not much interested in catering to an audience. If you want this film, you have to meet it more than halfway.Ty Burr, Boston Globe, 05.31.2012
The script, by Oleg Negin and Zvyagintsev, uses spare dialogue to quietly devastating effect. Performances are superb across the board, framed in elegant widescreen compositions that simmer with violence.Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 07.11.2012