The winner of the Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize at Cannes 2011, the new film from Russian maestro Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return) is a taut & engrossing moral tale of loyalties, familial ties, and a coveted inheritance.
Елена
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Cast: Nadezhda Markina, Andrey Smirnov, Elena Lyadova, Alexey Rozin
Duration: 109 mins
Country of Origin: Russia

MCoarse language and violence

★★★★★
“Sensational. Has the taut dramatic structure of a Dostoyevsky parable, matched with mesmerising long-take technique, a hushed, disquieting soundscape, and images that jangle in your head for days. Breathtaking. A film to crow about loudly”
Tim Robey, THE TELEGRAPH (UK)

★★★★
“Potent. Zvyagintsev’s direction is so precise and his actors are so good that he needs little dialogue and next to no exposition. He puts you so deeply into the lives of these people that one laugh can be transformative. Quietly electrifying.”
Sandra Hall, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

★★★★
“Outstanding. Exquisitely photographed with pristine symmetry, and using a striking music score by Philip Glass, this quietly disturbing film makes a considerable impact. Masterly.”
David Stratton, AT THE MOVIES

★★★★
“Beautifully done. Zvyagintsev is a really wonderful filmmaker.”
Margaret Pomeranz, AT THE MOVIES

★★★★1/2
“A riveting nail-biter of a thriller. Extraordinary. A thoroughly modern twist on the classic noir, framed for our modern times in contemporary Moscow. Exemplary and entertaining.”
Ed Gibbs, SUNDAY AGE

“Spectacular. Stunning. One of the year’s most accomplished film’s from any country. An outstanding Russian drama of fractured families, money and quiet desperation.”
Neil Young, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“Terrific, and intriguingly Chabrol-ish. Tense, edge-of-the-seat stuff.”
Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN

The winner of the Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize at Cannes 2011, the new film from Russian maestro Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return) is a taut & engrossing noir thriller of loyalties, familial ties, and a coveted inheritance, fuelled by class warfare in Putin’s new Russia.

Middle-aged couple Elena (Nadezhda Markina) and Vladimir (Andrey Smirnov), come from different walks of society. He is a well-off businessman; she is a former medical worker, now a housewife. Having met late in life, each has children from previous marriages. Elena’s son is unemployed and constantly asking for money. Vladimir’s daughter is a careless young woman whose contact with her father is irregular and strained. Their worlds rupture when a heart attack puts Vladimir in hospital and he makes a significant decision: his daughter will be the only heiress of his wealth. The shy and submissive Elena’s hopes of helping her son and grandchildren secure a better life are crushed, triggering a desperate plan…

With ELENA, Zvyagintsev conjures a riveting and uncompromising vision of a Russia in moral disarray, and a masterful insight into human nature.

MORE…
SBS Films interviews Andrey Zvyagintzev.

Andrey Zvyagintzev interviewed in The Telegraph (UK).

Nadezhda Markina reflects on her role for SBS Films.

View more images here

NOW AVAILABLE TO OWN OR VIEW ON DEMAND
  Elena