IMDb > Elena (2011)
Elena
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Elena (2011) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   5,981 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Andrey Zvyagintsev and
Oleg Negin (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Elena on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 September 2011 (Russia) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
When a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten dutiful housewife Elena's potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan ... Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
13 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A masterpiece of social realism combining old and new Russia See more (48 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Nadezhda Markina ... Elena
Andrey Smirnov ... Vladimir

Elena Lyadova ... Katerina
Aleksey Rozin ... Sergey
Evgeniya Konushkina ... Tatyana
Igor Ogurtsov ... Aleksandr
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Igor Yurtaev

Directed by
Andrey Zvyagintsev 
 
Writing credits
Andrey Zvyagintsev 

Oleg Negin  screenplay

Produced by
Ekaterina Marakulina .... line producer
Alexander Rodnyansky .... producer (as Aleksandr Rodnyanskiy)
 
Original Music by
Philip Glass 
 
Cinematography by
Mikhail Krichman 
 
Film Editing by
Anna Mass 
 
Art Direction by
Andrey Ponkratov 
 
Sound Department
Andrey Dergachev .... sound
Stanislav Krechkov .... dialogue editor
Feildel Kévin .... french dubbing editor
Aleksandr Volodin .... sound effects recordist
 
Visual Effects by
Maksim Malyavin .... digital intermediate supervisor
Dmitriy Tokoyakov .... visual effects supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Maksim Malyavin .... digital intermediate supervisor
 
Thanks
Alesia Weston .... thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
109 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
It all started when a British producer proposed a project with four films made by four different directors, all touching upon the topic of apocalypse. For about a month, director Andrey Zvyagintsev and screenwriter Oleg Negin looked for a plot and found "two or three curious concepts," but then Negin phoned Zvyagintsev one night and suggested they should meet. At the meeting, he told Zvyagintsev almost the complete plot of the future film. The story is based on an incident from Negin's life.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Palace (2012)See more »

FAQ

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
A masterpiece of social realism combining old and new Russia, 23 March 2013
Author: Earwicker from United Kingdom

I saw this film on DVD and found it absolutely stunning. Apart from the wonderful cinematography, sound and pace, the story was a powerful piece of social realism but also an allegory of old and new Russia - not just post-Soviet Russia, portrayed as displaying the class divisions between the wealthy bourgeoisie and the downcast proletariat, the similarities in modern Russia to the deprivations and petty crime of western capitalism and the unthinking privileged status of the wealthy.

Partly because of the slow pace and the doom-laden symbolism, the elderly man in his elegant home with his servile wife, at the outset I felt a sense of Chekhov. Maybe it was the theme of property and family, of age and inheritance, of a new generation growing up, but I would be interested to know if the director deliberately referenced pre-revolutionary Russia in his film.

The pace enabled the audience to absorb the intense sound that characterised this film as much as the wonderful camera work. Not only the hypnotic music by Philip Glass, but the repeated brief sharp cawings of an uncannily loud rook, the sounds of domestic work, a door slamming, curtains being gently opened... All this built up a great feeling of suspense, almost nail-biting, as we were forced to wait for the outcome of Elena's actions as their consequences yawned in front of us.

The new Russia is clearly reduced to people down on their luck, driven to crime, yet strengthened by family solidarity. The working-class family may be sometimes feckless but there is love among them, and the mother's steely determination to ensure a brighter future for her grandson makes her actions seem not unjustified, in the face of an arrogant husband who treats her as a skivvy and despises her own children and grandchildren. Even though he discovers that he loves his own daughter, their feelings for each other seem to be based on a shared amorality and lack of concern for others.

There is also a dark, ironic and occasionally surreal humour underlying the apparently bleak tone - not just the Viagra, but the woman who keeps getting pregnant, the train delayed by a horse, the Poe-esque crow ...

I have not had the chance to see much Russian cinema but this film has whetted my appetite and I shall be looking out for more, especially by this great film-maker.

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