Friday, Jun 01, 2012 2:00 PM EDT
(1:00 PM Doors)
State Theater, Ann Arbor, MI
One of 2011's most accomplished films from any country, Russian maestro Andrei Zvyagintsev's Elena harks back to classic noir thrillers. Elena, a former nurse from a modest background, has a late-in-life marriage to older, wealthy Vladimir. Each has adult children from previous marriages. Though Vladimir is estranged from his wild, spoiled daughter, Elena visibly perks up when she visits her aimless son and his family in their cramped apartment. A firm believer in working for your money, Vladimir resents Elena’s constant requests for financial aid for her perennially unemployed relatives. As Vladimir’s health declines and he makes plans to leave everything to his daughter, Elena must quickly decide whether her loyalty lies with her husband or her kin. Part domestic thriller, part morality play, Elena is a comment on Russian class warfare that offers insight into human nature. A striking score by Philip Glass sustains tension throughout.
Russia 2011, 109 min. / Not Rated / Subtitles