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Elena (12A)

Elena (12A)


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

The critical consensus

A sombre, elegantly shot parable.

****(*)Tom Dawson, Total Film, 16/10/2012

As a snapshot of contemporary Russian life, Elena is a stark and impressive piece of work. Under its brooding exterior is a solemnly effective thriller, too. Recommended.

****(*)David Parkinson, Empire Online, 24/10/2012

A slow-burning but engrossing drama that takes an intriguingly dark view of the sanctity of family in order to explore the ways in which bad seeds have a habit of flourishing in any environment.

****(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 25/10/2012

The cinematography is gorgeous and mesmerising, while Philip Glass's score is nervily atmospheric.

****(*)Marc Lee, The Telegraph, 25/10/2012

Zvyagintsev, who also made the magnificent The Return (2003), is proving himself a major talent.

****(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 25/10/2012

It is superbly shot and directed; it does not offer a thriller-type ending – the narrative is resolved in a disquieting minor key. A deeply satisfying film.

****(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 25/10/2012

It may seem slow and lugubrious but it draws you into these complex, contradictory lives the way a spider lures a fly into a web.

****(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 26/10/2012

Leaves you with a sour taste in your mouth. Its condemnation of the working classes as ignorant spongers will go down better at the Daily Mail than it will around these parts.

Nicholas Barber, The Independent on Sunday, 28/10/2012

It's a gripping, resonant tale, and Nadezhda Markina is outstanding as Elena, and far more sympathetic than perhaps she should be.

Philip French, The Observer, 28/10/2012

An elegant, noirish drama.

****(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 04/11/2012

A perfectly formed drama that gradually takes hold and doesn’t let go.

*****Gail Tolley, The List, 13/11/2012

Never mind the British, when it comes to distinctive drama, the Russians are coming.

****(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 15/11/2012

Where and when?

Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow from Friday January 18, 2013, until Monday January 21, 2013. More info:

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