A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Have compassion when dealing with others and yourself. The importance of self-awareness and seeking treatment for mental illnesses.
Positive Role Models
Pablo shows compassion and kindness to Elena despite her pride. Rita shows resilience when she takes care of Elena.
The film is written and directed by Latina women. The film centers on Elena, a 65-year-old woman, the kind of character who rarely leads films. Elena doesn't abide by clichés about mothers and elderly women in film. Most of the characters are middle-aged and range in body size and shape. Honest conversations about the effects and consequences of abortion and depression.
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Violence & Scariness
A dead body is seen after death by suicide. The corpse is seen in the police station when Elena is asked to identify it. Elena falls in a crowded train station.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mentions of underage teens having sex. Pablo and Rita talk about living together and their future.
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"F--k," "unf--kable" is plastered on Elena's wall, "bitch," "stupid."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Elena smokes cigarettes regularly. Pablo opens a champagne bottle during dinner. Elena takes prescription medication.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Elena Knows is a 2023 Argentinean drama centered on a middle-aged woman named Elena. A character dies by suicide and Elena identifies their corpse at the police station. Elena falls in a crowded train station. Language includes "f--k" and "unf--kable," which is written on Elena's wall. There are mentions of underage teenagers having sex and Pablo and Rita discuss their future together. Elena smokes cigarettes and Pablo opens a champagne bottle during dinner. In terms of diversity, the film is written and directed by Latina women, and centers on a 65-year-old-woman who doesn't fall into clichés about mothers and elderly women in film. Most of the characters are middle-aged and range in body shape and size. There are honest conversations about the effects and consequences of abortion, Parkinson's, and depression. Positive messages include compassion and seeking treatment for mental illness. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Characters like Elena usually don't get movies made about them. The lead character of Elena Knows is 65, a single mother with advancing Parkinson's, and she doesn't have a sweet word to say about anyone, especially not her daughter, Rita, who has devoted her life to caring for her. Elena's life is turned upside down when Rita dies by suicide. Convinced that Rita was murdered and the police are missing out on important clues, Elena sets out on her own investigation.
Ridden with guilt, spite, and an utter loneliness she would never accept, Elena is given depth and endless layers by the heartbreaking Moran, who turns in an unforgettable performance. Director Anahí Berneri lets her camera linger on Moran, who in return grants her moments where silence becomes the loudest form of grief you have ever heard. Younger audience members might not be captivated by the film's slow burn, but more mature viewers will find honest conversations about grief, loneliness, death by suicide, and the effects silence and unspoken pain can have on the lives of those society sometimes chooses to forget. Elena Knows is a film of great wisdom, if you're willing to follow its unconventional advice.
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.