A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
At a Montréal public grade school, an Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom. While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is revealed.
Elena and Vladimir are an older couple, they come from different backgrounds. Vladimir is a wealthy and cold man, Elena comes from a modest milieu and is a docile wife. They have met late in life and each one has children from previous marriages. Elena's son is unemployed, unable to support his own family and he is constantly asking Elena for money. Vladimir's daughter is a careless young woman who has a distant relationship with her father. A heart attack puts Vladimir in hospital, where he realizes that his remaining time is limited. A brief but somehow tender reunion with his daughter leads him to make an important decision: she will be the only heiress of his wealth. Back home he announces it to Elena. Her hopes to financially help her son suddenly vanish. The shy and submissive housewife then comes up with a plan to give her son and grandchildren a real chance in life. Written by
Cannes Film Festival
During filming, Andrey Smirnov accidentally broke two ribs while "playing around" with his son outside the set. He felt ashamed to tell the truth on set and said he had slipped on the bathroom floor. See more »
Andrey Zvyagintsev 's 'The Return' is my favourite film to date of the 21st century. 'Elena', a personal drama that illuminates the class structure in contemporary Russia, is not quite so powerful it's very slow, and the ambiguity of motive that drove the earlier film is not there. And on first viewing it wasn't clear to me whether the shocking but strangely ambivalent ending is a work of genius or the sign of a film that has lost its focus. Still, the director's ability to construct haunting, unexpected images has not deserted him; some scenes reminded me of Keislowski in his Polish phase, just about the highest praise I can give.
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