6.8/10
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116 user 140 critic

Elegy (2008)

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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.

Director:

Isabel Coixet

Writers:

Nicholas Meyer (screenplay), Philip Roth (novel)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Penélope Cruz ... Consuela Castillo
Ben Kingsley ... David Kepesh
Dennis Hopper ... George O'Hearn
Patricia Clarkson ... Carolyn
Peter Sarsgaard ... Kenny Kepesh
Debbie Harry ... Amy O'Hearn (as Deborah Harry)
Charlie Rose ... Charlie Rose
Antonio Cupo ... Younger Man
Michelle Harrison ... 2nd Student
Sonja Bennett ... Beth
Emily Holmes ... 1st Student
Chelah Horsdal ... Susan Reese
Marci T. House ... Administration Nurse
Alessandro Juliani ... Actor #3 in Play
Tiffany Lyndall-Knight ... Actor #2 in Play
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love Has No Boundaries

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 August 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Elegy: Dying Animal See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$104,168, 10 August 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,581,642

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,894,347
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lakeshore Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(At around one hour and twenty-three minutes) When David (Sir Ben Kingsley) receives the call from Consuela (Penélope Cruz), the spine of a copy of "The Dying Animal" (the Roth novel on which this movie was based) can be seen atop the stack of books beside the phone on David's counter top. See more »

Goofs

At one point Ben Kingsley says to Penelope Cruz, "The beast with two backs. Where's that from?" She answers Shakespeare and he agrees that it's from Othello. The fact is that Shakespeare borrowed it from the original author, Francois Rabelais. The phrase appears in French as "la bête à deux dos" in Gargantua and Pantagruel, 1532. See more »

Quotes

George O'Hearn: Life always keeps back more surprises than we could ever imagine.
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Connections

Featured in Dennis Hopper: Uneasy Rider (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Guapapasea
Written and Performed by Gecko Turner
Courtesy of Lovemonk
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Biggest Surprise in a Man's Life Is Old Age
26 March 2009 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In Manhattan, the middle-aged writer, art critic and professor and aspirant piano player and photographer David Kepesh (Ben Kingsley) questions that his age does not affect his sex drive and recalls words of Bette Davis ("Old age is not for sissies") and Tostoi ("The biggest surprise in a man's life is old age"). Despite of his great culture, the intellectual David is a man that has grown old but never grown up, and he is unable to last a relationship, including with his oncologist son Kenneth Kepesh (Peter Sarsgaard). The exceptions are his old poet friend and confident George O'Hearn (Dennis Hopper) and the independent businesswoman Carolyn (Patricia Clarkson), with whom he has an affair for more than twenty years. When he meets the elegant, educated and gorgeous Cuban student Consuela Castillo (Penélope Cruz) in his literature class, he feels a great sexual attraction for her and seduces her in the end of the period. They have a love affair for one and half years, but David is always insecure being thirty and something years older than the student. When Consuela forces David to come to her graduation party and meet her family and friends, he takes a decision that affects their relationship forever.

The Spanish Isabel Coixet is certainly one of the most sensitive directors of the cinema industry. "My Life without Me" and "The Secret Life of Words" are among the most beautiful, touching and heartbreaking movies I have ever seen. "Elegy" is another wonderful movie of this awesome director that deals with another real theme, the aging of men, which could be difficult for a female director to understand and correctly disclose on the screen. However, the romance works mainly because the lead male role seems to be tailored for Sir Ben Kingsley (it could be Sean Connery a couple of years ago). I can not imagine any other actor that could personify David Kepesh as portrayed in the story. Further, Penélope Cruz deserved the Oscar for her performance, with a more realistic character than in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona". The Academy wrote right through wrong performances. She is incredibly gorgeous in the role of Consuela Castillo. The always excellent Patricia Clarkson, the irregular Dennis Hopper and the "disappeared" Peter Sarsgaard have also memorable performances in this outstanding romance. The cinematography and the music score complete this beautiful work of art. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Fatal" ("Fatal")


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