6.8/10
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115 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

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

When Consuela is napping on the beach, the book beside her is Selected Essays by John Berger. 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

David Kepesh: When you make love to a woman you get revenge for all the things that defeated you in life.
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Connections

References North by Northwest (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

This Place in Time
Written by Colleen (as Cecile Schott)
Performed by Colleen
Courtesy of Leaf Records
By Arrangement with Bank Robber Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"Old age is not for sissies", said Bette Davis...
29 September 2008 | by Benedict_CumberbatchSee all my reviews

... and David Kepesh (Sir Ben Kingsley) knows it, as he quotes her in the beginning of "Elegy". Kepesh is no sissy, but old age isn't for him either. He's a professor who's had a "friendship with benefits" with a woman (Patricia Clarkson) for twenty years, as he begins a torrid affair with the beautiful Consuela (Penélope Cruz), thirty years younger than him. Consuela and David fall in love with each other, but harder than finding the right person is the fear of losing them, and they will find some obstacles to their relationship.

This is an adult film about love, fear of commitment/loss, and death. Isabel Coixet proves again to be the most exciting name to come from Spain since Pedro Almodóvar – after "My Life Without Me", "The Secret Life of Words" and her segment "Bastille" from "Paris, je t'Aime", she delivers another mature, sensitive, and very peculiar film (her next project, "Map of Sounds of Tokyo", looks very promising as well). Sir Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson are exceptional as usual; Dennis Hopper, as Kingsley's best friend, gives his best performance in a long time (he has a fantastic scene with Kingsley and Deborah Harry, who plays his wife). Peter Sarsgaard is also pretty good as Kingsley's son, and although Cruz doesn't shine as much as in "Non Ti Muovere", "Volver" or "Vicky Cristina Barcelona", she fits the role and makes you believe any man would be easily infatuated and obsessed with her.

The ending might seem a little melodramatic at first, but it's both poignant and adequate. Although not a perfect film, "Elegy" is easily one of the most poetic, rewarding experiences you'll have this year. Don't miss it. 9/10.


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