Cultural critic David Kepesh finds his life -- which he indicates is a state of "emancipated manhood" -- thrown into tragic disarray by Consuela Castillo, a well-mannered student who awakens a sense of sexual possessiveness in her teacher.
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When a disgraced former college dean has a romance with a mysterious younger woman haunted by her dark, twisted past, he is forced to confront a shocking fact about his own life that he has kept secret for 50 years.
David Kepesh is growing old. He's a professor of literature, a student of American hedonism, and an amateur musician and photographer. When he finds a student attractive, Consuela, a 24-year-old Cuban, he sets out to seduce her. Along the way, he swims in deeper feelings, maybe he's drowning. She presses him to sort out what he wants from her, and a relationship develops. They talk of traveling. He confides in his friend, George, a poet long-married, who advises David to grow up and grow old. She invites him to meet her family. His own son, from a long-ended marriage, confronts him. Is the elegy for lost relationships, lost possibilities, beauty and time passing, or failure of nerve? Written by
Ben Kingsley gives another Oscar-worthy performance
'Elegy' is a small, yet powerful film for adults. Focusing on a relationship between a well-respected college professor (Ben Kingsley) and his former student (Penelope Cruz), 'Elegy' shows the audience a multi-faceted, complex man whose past experiences with women and his own family have dampered his ability to participate in a healthy relationship with a woman he is truly infatuated with.
The film was carried by a masterful performance by Kingsley, who successfully portrayed Kepesh as a complex man with complex relationships. His desire and lust for Cruz was so emotional and real that I believed it for every second until the very end. Kingsley was able to spark empathy with the audience as a victim of numerous losses in his life: his wife, family, son, best friend, love interest (Cruz), and most importantly, it was his loss of youth that made Kepesh the man he is when we first meet him.
I truly believed his internal struggles with adapting to life as a man romantically involved with a much younger woman (30 years his junior).
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