Andrei Zvyagintsev’s third feature, nominated for over 45 awards, follows the eponymous Elena, at once the docile housewife to successful businessman Vladimir and the humble matriarch to her son’s impoverished family, living in a decrepit suburb of Moscow’s outer city limits. When Vladimir announces his wealth will be left to his only daughter, the hedonistic and spoilt Katya, Elena hatches a desperate plan. An unflinching critique of modern-day inequality, imbued with the director’s signature style and set against Philip Glass’s enthralling score, Elena is a gripping take on a classic noir thriller.
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