Elena (2012)

Winner of Cannes' Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize, Elena is a gripping, modern twist on the classic noir thriller. Sixty-ish spouses Vladimir and Elena uneasily share his palatial Moscow apartment-he's a still-virile, wealthy… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: May 16, 2012
DVD Release Date: October 30, 2012
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Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Sturdy performances, fine photography from Mikhail Krichman, good use of music by Philip Glass and a pleasingly terse script make for incisive, gripping drama.

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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader

A quiet, subtle mystery whose long, penetrating takes have drawn comparisons to Andrei Tarkovsky and whose mordantly ironic conclusion may remind you of Claude Chabrol.

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Lauren Carroll Harris
Concrete Playground

Many people can't abide slow-building subtitled films about relentlessly unhappy people. But closet pessimists like myself and the Cannes judges will find Elena's sense of impending doom oddly satisfying.

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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In different hands, "Elena" might have been a noir thriller, but this serving of cinematic borscht is as cold as a Russian winter.

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John Hartl
Seattle Times

Zvyaginstsev makes the most of the ghastly settings, which include a backyard that ominously features nuclear cones - and the kinds of compartmentalized living spaces that Hitchcock used for droll effect in "Rear Window."

Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta)

A chilly noir about the beaten paths and icy ruts of Russian life in the capital, post-Communism. In a land of schemers, Elena suggests, the urban cloisters of Moscow's elite are as self-sealing as the lowly masses' stifling Soviet-era flats.

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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Elena" is a riveting psychological suspense film.

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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic

It's a sort of slow-boil Russian noir, if that genre exists, and if it doesn't, it does now.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

The kind of family drama that gives family dramas a good name.

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More reviews for Elena

Flixster Audience Score: 73% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
An intriguing drama of fascinating moral complexity and ambiguity, with an elegant direction that makes use of several long takes to show us the everyday life… More
Walter M.
Vladimir(Andrei Smirnov) has been married to Elena(Nadezhda Markina), a former nurse, for the past couple of years. Since he is wealthy, she need not ask for… More
c0up †
'Elena'. A beautifully reserved piece of filmmaking exploring the class divide in modern Moscow. The direction is meticulous, patient and… More
Daniel Parsons
Masterfully controlled and filmed, this oddly beautiful and complex moral/amoral piece has stark and autumnal contrasting photography and simple shots that go… More
William Dunmyer
"Elena," third feature film from Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev, is a genuine work of art, but it's not a particularly good one. Zvyagintsev… More
Daisy Maduro
Russian director and screenwriter Andrei Zvyagintsev film, Elena, was the story about Elena, a former nurse who married a wealthy man Vladimir, but their… More