Elegy

2008

Drama / Romance

Elegy (2008) download yts

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Penélope Cruz as Consuela Castillo
Ben Kingsley as David Kepesh
Patricia Clarkson as Carolyn
Peter Sarsgaard as Kenneth Kepesh
720p 1080p
1.36 GB
1280*720
R
23.976 fps
1hr 52 min
P/S Unknown
2.14 GB
1920*1080
R
23.976 fps
1hr 52 min
P/S Unknown

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by seawalker 8 / 10

Erotic, touching and beautiful

Everybody is allowed to do a job just for the money, I know that I do, but when it comes to the acting profession, I irrationally think that I expect a little bit more from our finest thespians. I don't know why. I just do. Take, for example, the actor Ben Kingsley.

Ben Kingsley sometimes annoys the hell out of me. He is one of the best actors in the world, but sometimes plys his trade in the likes of films like "Thunderbirds", "A Sound Of Thunder" and "The Love Guru". Such a waste. Such a shame. Thank God he occasionally realises how good he is and signs up for a movie as sublime as "Elegy".

"Elegy" is a great movie. Ben Kingsley is supreme in it. He plays David Kapesh, an expat British teacher and writer. Kapesh is selfish. He is a player and a commitment phobe, who takes and drops lovers at the drop of a hat. That is until he meets Penelope Cruz's Consuela Castillo, with whom he begins a pretty standard affair and, against all expectations, and much to his dismay, falls in love with her.

"Elegy" has some seriously good, sure footed performances. Ben Kingsley is on Oscar worthy form. It is as different, but as good a performance, as his Oscar nominated turns in "Sexy Beast" and "House Of Sand And Fog". Patrica Clarkson, as Kapesh's long standing mistress, defines hurt and betrayal, Penelope Cruz completely puts word to the lie of one daft critic who said that she simply cannot act in the English language, but the surprise here is Dennis Hopper: His performance as Kapesh's best friend is light years away from the eye rolling villain that he normally portrays to make a crust.

"Elegy" is erotic, touching and beautiful. I think that it is a cracking movie and deserves a bigger audience.

Reviewed by C-Younkin 7 / 10

Take a look inside

"Elegy" is the fifth movie Ben Kingsley has done this year and its been so good to see him back in form the last couple years cause I honestly thought that doing "Bloodrayne" was his way of saying "I'm losing my mind." Nicholas Meyer wrote the movie from a novel by Phillip Roth. The last time Meyer adapted something from Roth we got Anthony Hopkins playing a black guy in "The Human Stain", and that was just one of many problems that that movie had. "Elegy" was directed by Isabel Coixet though, who I really only know from the short film "Bastille", one of a group of films that can be found in the all-around beautiful love letter to Paris film, "Paris J'Taime." She seems well-suited for this love story, as do Kingsley and Penelope Cruz. Only the question is, can they all make a better movie than "The Human Stain"? Kingsley plays cultural critic David Kepesh, a man who spent most of the 60's sexual revolution unfortunately married. Now a divorced college professor, Kepesh has devoted much of his after graduation activities to hitting on former students, his most recent conquest being Consuela Castillo (Penelope Cruz), a hard working woman from a Cuban family. Just Consuela awakens a sense of passion in him and soon he is thrown into a confusing situation where he jealously wants to have her for his own but his fear of commitment to another woman has him pushing her back when she wants to get closer.

At times funny and heartbreakingly moving, this movie mostly just makes you think how lazy most men are when it comes to relationships. I found it interesting how even a cultural critic, a man who spends his life looking for deeper meaning in everything, can look at a woman and only see a sex toy. That what a woman holds inside is a short substitute for what she holds outside. David being self-conscious about his age adds another dimension, backing up that long held belief by men that women are also more concerned with what's on the outside as well. It's all material that has been worked over before in countless romances and the ending relies on that old romantic cliché of throwing in a fatal disease that threatens the life of one of the characters but in general director Isabel Coixet creates a moving, heartfelt love story complete with sensual sex scenes, beautiful piano-background music and some really nice (and tasteful) shots of Penelope Cruz's boobs and ass.

There is also some really excellent acting going on in this movie. Kingsley charges into his role like a lion, showing David's brashness in preying on the young girls he so dearly missed out on during his married youth, but he also brings regret, vulnerability, and cluelessness to David that make him worthy of sympathy. And Penelope Cruz couldn't be better as his above-age Lolita, bringing a soft-spoken sexiness and warmth to a woman trying mightily to disarm a man primarily drawn to women as play things. And where has Dennis Hopper been? This is one of his best performances in a long time, playing a man whose gone through the wringer a couple times with relationships himself who now offers up his own wisdom, coupled with some comic relief as well. Patricia Clarkson does what she can in a small role as an on-again off-again sex buddy for David. She has a fantastic scene in the movie later on where she describes what life is like for older women but then unfortunately the character is never seen again.

"Elegy" doesn't simmer with romance but it's not exactly a slow-moving disaster either. It offers up some food for thought and it's artfully created while Kingsley, Cruz, and Hopper each supply fantastic performances. If you're interested in a May-December romance, this one fits the bill just fine for the time being.

Reviewed by Chris_Docker 6 / 10

many may struggle to appreciate the heights to which this valiant film aspires

Elegy comes with sophisticated cultural ambiance. Based on a novella by Pulitzer Prize winning author Philip Roth. A trailer peppered with interesting academic speculation. A score dominated by Bach, Beethoven and Satie, tastefully kept up to date with interludes of salsa or the eclectic Madeline Peyroux's singing Cohen's masterpiece, Dance Me to the End of Love. Gravitas imparted by Ben Kingsley as an established professor of literary criticism and his colleague (a remarkably suave) Dennis Hopper, award-winning poet. Elegy announces its colours by appealing to the culturally elite. Or at least those that can tell their War and Peace from Kelly's Heroes.

But translating the good and the great of literary acclaim into two hours of watchable cinema is necessarily a task of abbreviation, as director Coixet and screenwriter Meyer know too well, having previously worked together on The Human Stain. Pages of philosophical rumination rarely transcribe into pithy dialogue, circumscribed voice-overs, or the more visceral drama of visual image. Roth fans may come to altogether different conclusions based on subtexts gleaned from the novella. Even the rest of us may form radically different opinions. Each of us, as Kingsley's character would say, brings our own self to any work of art. We see it through our own eyes, situation, prejudices and projections, and it lives on well beyond our thoughts on it.

Do you dislike objectivisation of women in film? Penelope Cruz, the charming young student who comes into Kingsley's orbit, is relentlessly objectivised in the first two thirds of the movie. So much so that you may have formed a judgement by the time that objectivisation is finally questioned and the person behind the dazzling smile and art-book eyes revealed. Or are you perhaps a fifty-something year old single male? If so, you may feel more indulgent towards Kingsley's obsession and the film's emotional self-analysis. Or do you feel the more immediate revulsion for middle-aged teacher seducing pretty young student? Are you an art lover perhaps? Maybe picking up on the questions of how we perceive art, do we really perceive it truly at all (and maybe relate that to how people perceive each other). Only the most liberal viewer might ask if there can be any true love across the age divide, a true meeting of minds. And then apply those questions (and the underlying real perception of another human being) to the question of love when no age difference forces them uppermost.

The theme of professor-student illicit liaison is well-worn. So much so that it barely deserves a whole movie to itself. What raises Elegy above the bar is the seriousness with which it addresses its subject. Kingsley's character tries to stay a step ahead of the stereotype and what he perceives as inevitable failure, analysing it with his (married but unfaithful) friend Hopper. Belief in personal freedom is at odds with long-term meaningful commitment. After initially trying to dissuade him, Hopper comes out with an insightful key that can apply to other situations as well as Kingsley's. "Beautiful women are invisible . . . we're blocked by the beauty barrier." Like approaching a work of art, meeting another person is a case of seeing what we see (or want to see) in them. The Muse. The Blonde. (Or in reverse, The Cultural Man, the Tough Guy, the Protector, the Mentor.) Even before we add gender stereotypes. We see the sexualised side of a person we are interested in – or at least not a gender-neutral persona. Roth's point is that when we meet someone who is particularly beautiful or handsome, then it can become much harder to connect to the person underneath. Age differences emphasises this (Kingsley 'worships' her beauty). And the viewer is led by the nose to see her (objectivised) as he sees her. As "a work of art." As something beyond reach (emotionally in the long term, if not sexually). She is beautiful. She dresses well. She looks good naked. She's intelligent and attentive, with a sense of artistic appreciation. And she has a disarming directness and sincerity.

Kingsley also has an on-off sexual partner, a glamorous business woman closer to his own age (played by Patricia Clarkson). They seem well-suited. But it is late on into the film that we see that they too had only gone as far as the image they wanted of each other. "Is this our first real conversation?" she asks him. Then there is his friend Hopper. A friendship for which he only just manages the sense of 'elegy', the heartfelt sense of regret that has the power to correct and connect – if only there is a second chance.

And what of Kingsley's son (Peter Sarsgaard)? His appearance highlights one of the greatest weaknesses of the film. Kenny bursts onto the scene to tell his father that he has been having an affair – shock, horror! Kingsley, polite and fatherly, is really far too involved in his own dilemma to care that much. It reminds us that we have spent far too long angsting over who he is playing the double-backed beast with (a literary allusion which is given second-hand accuracy in the film, which attributes it to Shakespeare, who of course stole it from Rabelais). Unless we are voyeuristic, the question of who-is-shagging-who is one of the most uninteresting story lines for any film. But the emotions can hold some value if well addressed. Yet they are not here addressed with the depth of a novel. We have to make several additions ourselves, analysing the throwaway words of wisdom. The interchanges with Hopper have been underused. Too many viewers will have been lost gazing at Cruz's breasts. And the life-changing event that puts her and Kingsley on a deeper level is due to external circumstance rather than any astute self-analysis. Elegy deserves respect for the heights it aspires to. But Coixet and Meyer need to make Roth more accessible to achieve the recognition for which they so yearn.

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