Elsa y Fred (2005) Poster


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It softens the heart of anyone
pilur0073 September 2007
This movie is absolutely heart warming. Im only 19, most people my age don't give a damn about these type of movies, but a lot of my friends have seen it and have gone back not only 2 twice, but 4 times to watch it again.My dad, who is this huge motorcycle rider with tattoos and long hair cried and has seen it 5 times and his looking for an excuse to see it again...yes, its that good. My mom dragged me to see it, i got to admit i didn't want too. My thoughts were "here comes another boring movie", i was totally wrong about it! I cried like an idiot and smiled, a person said in another comment people would, he or she was right. Its a beautiful movie. Elsa is so funny and Fred is just so sweet. Guys should learn from him lol i gave it a 10, it deserves it.
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wonderful movie!
myriamob23 February 2006
What a touching movie! what great performances and what a story. Sad though but still unforgettable! Federico Luppi's scene... great as usual, he's like wine, gets better as times goes through. China Zorrilla, what can I say, I saw her previously and instantly fell in love with her. She's such a good ACTRESS (yes, with capital letters), she should be nominated for an award in the U.S., like Norma Aleandro once..... let's face it, Latin American movies are good, really good. These ones and independent movies are far better than the usual made-in-Hollywood movies, where mostly always, when you take out the special effects, nothing is left! Again, I do recommend this movie to everybody, you'll never forget it!
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It Is Never Too Late to Love
Claudio Carvalho27 March 2007
When the retired seventy-eight years old hypochondriac widower Fred (Manuel Alexandre) moves to an apartment in Madrid, his temperamental daughter Cuca (Blanca Portillo) has an incident with his next door neighbor, the elder Argentinean Elsa (China Zorrilla). Later, they meet each other and Elsa seduces Fred with her reckless behavior and view of life and they have a romance.

"Elsa y Fred" is a sensitive romance in the third age, proving that it is never too late to love, and a great homage to Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita". The simple and beautiful story is supported by magnificent performances of Manuel Alexandre and China Portillo, and an effective screenplay that appropriately blends romance, drama and humor. A dear friend of mine recommended this movie and I would like to thank her advice. In the end, there is a wonderful message of hope and love - people should live and not be afraid of dying. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Elsa & Fred - Um Amor de Paixão" ("Elsa & Fred - A Love of Passion")
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A sparkling reaffirmation of humanity and love
tfpa1005 July 2008
This is one of those jewels of filmdom that Hollywood will seldom or never produce --a shining venue for actors of "a certain age" (and not Clint Eastwood) in a romantic comedy replete with laughs, tears and profound yet light-handed treatments of human nature and national traits. The pace moves without interruption; it lags at no time, a tribute to a superb script and masterful editing. The scenes are remarkable for their realism. The acting is extraordinarily sensitive and on the mark. Watch the body language and facial expressions in funny/sad/ordinary situations. It's almost like being there, eavesdropping and peeping at this wonderful couple as their relationships bobs, weaves, dips and soars. The subtle ethnic jokes are there too ... the Telephone company retiree sporting one of the most ancient family names in Spain ... the Argentine widow (or not) displaying some of the too-clever-by-half sharpness many of her compatriots put to work to get by ... the play on letter of the apartments ("J" in Spanish as in "F" in English), etc., etc. A winner all around, worth seeing again and again. Do not miss this home run of a film.
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Opposites do attract!
Anaheim928073 August 2008
For some reason, this film reminded me of the 1979 film "A Little Romance" except it starred two senior citizens instead of two youngsters. In "A Little Romance" two young kids fall in love and runaway to Venice with the help of and old con artist. The young girl is played by Diane Lane, while the con artist is played by Laurence Olivier.

I don't know why "Elsa and Fred" took so long for this film to reach the U.S., but I finally saw it in Orange County, California, just last week. It's a warm and touching film largely due to the two main characters. Both of them (Elsa and Fred) are living alone in adjacent Madrid apartments. Fred is withdrawn and still getting used to being a widower. He is a very practical, straight-laced gentleman. In contrast, Elsa lives in a fantasy world conjured up by her dreams of someday wading in the Trevi Fountain in Rome ala Fellini's "La Dolci Vita." She a persistent liar, risk taker and bold adventuress. She gradually draws Fred out of his shell and into her world. Who says that there can't be romance after 70?!

The two actors who play Elsa and Fred are remarkable. Their dialogues and facial expressions give their characters real depth, tenderness and life. Their years as seniors gradually whither away in the film as they slowly fall in love and become "teenagers" again figuratively speaking. The theme of "Trevi Fountain" runs throughout the film from the beginning during the credits until the very end.

Yes, Americans can enjoy this foreign film. I certainly did!
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Carlos Martinez Escalona27 December 2006
Marcello, te amo! Te amo más de lo que nunca he amado a nadie... Gracias! The fountain's sound vanishes in these last words, as it happened in La Dolce Vita. That love professed and expressed is the central character of the film.

Beware: you'll find yourself crying and smiling like an idiot throughout this beautiful story.

Is there anything I'd leave out of it? Not a single word, not a single take, nor a music note. The acting is top notch. I'd rather say "heavyweight". Maybe it is just that I haven't seen such performances in a long time.

This is a film to open your heart, no matter the age, to a reality few of us like to think about. Prepare yourself for a ride of joy and happiness in a world so full of trouble.
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Unforgettable and Worth Seeing
Dora Mintz2 September 2008
If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. I can guarantee it will move you in some way -- unless you're not human! lol. Of course, this film isn't for everyone and it won't be a life-changing experience but sometimes, it's good to see a film like this, especially if you're a pessimist and have no lust for life or have given up for some reason. This is the kind of story that can remind people to stop and smell the roses, to add gusto to your life, to take risks and appreciate every moment. To me, the most important aspect of this film is that it's so incredibly inspirational - for people of all ages and outlooks. I've seen many romances, foreign and American and this one is definitely on top of my list. But of course, that's me. I'm female and 50 and have a soft spot for love stories. On top of the exceptional screenplay, the cast was superb, in particular the lead actors. Anyway, see it for yourself and you'll see what I mean. You won't be disappointed.
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jpschapira1 September 2005
Talking about China Zorrilla is the same as talking about Federico Luppi. The difference, personally, is that I've seen Luppi, and been able to admire him in his work, but I haven't seen this old woman who gets better with the years; like wine. I haven't seen her at all. However, she has always been and will always be one of the biggest Argentine celebrities and best actresses of our history; and if some critics say that she is "for an Oscar" in this film, it is because she is.

I know the United States will never watch an Argentine film and consider its cast seriously, but who knows? We've had Best Foreign Film nominations in the past. At her 83 years old, and gratefully for the ones who adore her, she is able to make at least one film per year. In this year's work, she plays Elsa, the leading woman of "Elsa & Fred".

The movie's title proposes a clichéd romantic comedy, coming from the United States, like, for example, "Alex & Emma", "The prince & me", you know… The thing is it is from Argentina, and it has one element that separates it grandly from the titles I've mentioned; it comes by the side of age. Elsa and Fred (Manuel Alexandre) are really old persons, supposedly in their 70's, and they are falling in love as the youngsters are in the latter films.

It is important to say that if the movie had no image, and if the voices weren't so revealing, Elsa and Fred would be just like those youngsters. This is just because of the words they say, because of the way they speak, however their story is sad. Fred has recently lost his wife, and he is locked up in his apartment, that is just next to Elsa's. She has sons, grandsons, brothers, husbands, I don't know how many because she is a tricky woman, but director Marcos Carnevale and writing partner Marcela Guerty (writers of great Argentine shows like "22, El loco" and powerful movies like "El día que me amen") try to keep it as real as possible so we can believe we can find love again and again, no matter our age. It doesn't reach that much, though, and this and other stuff that are not worth mentioning make the film fall a little short from good.

What was amazing was to see the movie theater replete with old people; people as old as the film's main characters. And none of them was alone. What I'm trying to say is that the film achieved an objective in getting these couples to watch the movie. For their pleasure, there were lots of beautiful places in Carnevale's camera, and also incredible stars in the cast, including Roberto Carnaghi, who plays one of Elsa's sons and Federico Luppi, who appears late but amazes as always. He is just there for three minutes, three amazing minutes.

Ironically, because I said this could be an American film, the opening is undoubtedly at the level of one of those films; with beautiful breathtaking images, like in dreams, with water in the middle and blurry frames explained by Lito Vitale's unique music, in his unique language, which makes me wonder how come he never made music for films all around the world.

But in the end, it is China Zorrilla, whose mannerisms win the audiences' hearts, and whose grace is untouched, as if she was still a teenager in search of her first love.
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selffamily8 March 2009
This is a romantic movie for those who never give up hope. here we have a woman who is a bit of a rascal, meeting a timid, hen-pecked man. Both in their late 70s (officially, she lies about her age but in fact I read that both were much older when they made the film)there is a tiny flame that flickers and then burns with a gentle intensity. His daughter turns from a frantic bullying, worried out of her mind caregiver to an understanding concerned daughter. I thought that was one of the nicest aspects of the story. I loved this, and I loved the couple. She lies about everything, he about nothing and yet he embraces her and her irrationality with total acceptance. Don't we wish we could find someone like that at any age? They headed a wonderful cast, not one weak player among them. I have watched it twice, and will happily watch it again and again.
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Very good One!
lgarzam7 December 2006
Wow!... maybe the best movie I've seen in the last decade. The story is simple but full of emotions. The main actor is so good, but the old ACTRESS is lovely, amazing, funny and beautiful. No doubt this movie should be considered for the foreign movies awards, they really deserve something! I just hope that it could be translated as well as they mean all the dialogs, because this is a jewel that has to be appreciated as it is. Please, don't waste your time and go to see this wonderful film. Hope you like it as I did. The film magazine is good enough and the locations looks nice and some are fancy. The volume could be better, I just recommend that adjust the volume a little bit higher for seniors who can have a bit problems to hear the sound. This is a story full of love, compassion, emotion, sadness, but first of all, a very good sense of humor, very hard to find in this times. I bet you will love it and more if you're in your late 60's, cause it gives you a new vision of life. Women are always women!
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