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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.



(screenplay), (novel)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenny Kepesh
Amy O'Hearn (as Deborah Harry)
Younger Man
2nd Student
1st Student
Susan Reese
Administration Nurse
Actor #3 in Play
Actor #2 in Play


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Love Has No Boundaries


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

29 August 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elegy: Dying Animal  »

Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$104,168 (USA) (8 August 2008)


$3,577,210 (USA) (7 November 2008)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


David tells Consuela that she looks like Goya's Maja Desnuda. Penélope Cruz (who plays Consuela) plays Pepita Tudó in Volavérunt (1999), possibly a model for the Maja Desnuda. See more »


Consuela Castillo: Beautiful picture.
David Kepesh: Beautiful woman.
See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 9 August 2008 (2008) See more »


Jingle Bells
Arranged by Ralph Allwood
Performed by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (as The Royal Philharmonic)
Courtesy of Extreme Production Music USA
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

adaptation of the Roth novella The Dying Animal.
18 April 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is the first time that Roth has been successfully transferred to the screen. An uncompromising movie for grownups with two exquisite central performances, and some very nice supporting turns by Clarkson, Hopper and Sarsgaard. What impressed me about this movie is that it dares to be slow, dark, almost meditative. Roth's short book does not have much plot to it, so that adapting it to the screen runs more risks than would be the case for one of his more developed novels. But the director and screenwriter make a virtue of the book's spare narrative elements. It takes its time studying faces, glances and shadows. I will be happy if I see another movie half as good this year.

65 of 95 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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