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(Елена | 2011 | Russia) dir Andrei Zvyagintsev w/Nadezhda Markina, Audrey Smirnov, Aleksey Rozin [109 min]
ELENA is a gripping, modern twist on the classic noir thriller. Sixty-ish spouses Vladimir and Elena uneasily share his palatial Moscow apartment – he’s a still-virile, wealthy businessman; she’s his dowdy former nurse who has clearly “married up.” When a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten the dutiful housewife’s potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan. Masterfully crafted by award-winning Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return), ELENA is a subtly stylish exploration of crime, punishment and human nature.