Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz star in Elegy, the adaptation of Philip Roth's The Dying Animal (Red Envelope Entertainment)
Elegy (opened August 22 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas) is based on Philip Roth's book The Dying Animal and focuses on aging academic David Kepesh and his affair with a student. The character of Kepesh has appeared in two other Roth works: The Breast and The Professor of Desire . As with most of Roth's books, the focus and the perspective are distinctly male. But what gives the new film adaptation of The Dying Animal a fresh spin is that it has been brought to the screen thanks mainly to a pair of women: actress Penelope Cruz and director Isabel Coixet.
August 28, 2008 at 04:08 AM
I was glad it was filtered a bit by the female perspective. It would have been very easy to despise Kepesh for his treatment of women in general. Unfortunately, the story was way too forgiving towards Kepesh (and the male characters). In the end, he still got to spend time with Consuela. It was too pat for me. The good thing was that we got to see an older woman, played by Clarkson, to express her sexuality both in the story and on screen beautifully. I didn't feel pity for her, I felt pity for Kepesh. Beautifully shot and the pace wasn't rushed. Ben Kingsley is still a terrific actor and in great shape. Penelope Cruz was good but she's been playing similar women lost in love too often (that inferior Mandolin movie, Todo Sobra Mi Madre, Abre Los Ojos and its remake, Don't Move, and even the latest Woody Allen). It's worth seeing for the actings even if the story ended too neatly.
Beth Accomando from San Diego
August 28, 2008 at 06:17 PM
Agree completely on Clarkson. That scene where she basically tells Kepesh don't take me for granted was a knockout.
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