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Elena (2011)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  29 September 2011 (Russia)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 7,231 users   Metascore: 87/100
Reviews: 51 user | 124 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

When a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten dutiful housewife Elena's potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan ...

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Title: Elena (2011)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Elena
Andrey Smirnov ...
Vladimir
...
Katerina
Aleksey Rozin ...
Sergey
Evgeniya Konushkina ...
Tatyana
Igor Ogurtsov ...
Sasha
Vasily Michkov ...
Lawyer
Aleksey Maslodudov
Yekaterina Tarkovskaya
Ivan Mulin
Nikita Slepchenkov
Yury Borisov
Igor Yurtaev
Vasily Prokopyev
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 September 2011 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Jelena  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$9,035 (USA) (18 May 2012)

Gross:

$23,278 (USA) (13 June 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally planned to be made in English, with Elena, Vladimir and Sergey called Helen, Richard and Dan, respectively. Andrey Zvyagintsev dropped the idea when he realized working with an English producer meant "overcoming the issues of the creative method, of the language of cinema." Soon he proposed the script to Alexander Rodnyansky and the next day after Rodnyansky read it, he phoned Zvyagintsev and said, "Let's start." Zvyagintsev thanked Rodnyansky in a later interview for sharing his views. See more »

Quotes

Katerina: Shit's gotta be tasty, millions of flies can't be wrong.
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Connections

Referenced in Palace (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Till I Fell In Love With You
Written and performed by Bob Dylan
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User Reviews

 
Russian class
16 January 2014 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

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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