Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Brainy, mature, emotional film tackles sex, love.

Movie R 2008 100 minutes
Elegy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Melancholic and moving, Elegy -- based on a book by Philip Roth -- is a Trojan horse of the best kind: It's a deeply emotional film masquerading as an intellectual exercise. Kingsley is masterful here; his David is empathetic -- despite the fact that he's a cad who makes no apologies for his choices. To watch him grapple with foreign emotions when he finally succumbs to Consuela is to witness an unraveling so convincing that it's painful. The rest of the cast is inspired, too, especially Cruz, who turns in a variegated portrayal of a woman so willing to love but unwilling to accept less than what she expects. In fact, hardly anything is off with this movie; it's as pensive visually as it is thematically, and the pacing is exact. Even a twist near the end doesn't cheapen the film but rather enhances it, throwing David -- and the audience -- into wildly divergent (though still believable) emotional terrain.

One objection: Director Isabel Coixet spends a lot of time exploring the idea that beautiful women aren't seen because too much attention is paid to their beauty, but despite Cruz's robust rendering of Consuela -- she says so much with as little as a shrug -- the film keeps her character at arm's length, too. She's the object, and the camera's gaze is as fawning as the professor's.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate