4.5 stars out of 5
In Elegy, an aging celebrity professor (TV and radio shows, articles in The New Yorker) has an affair with a student, which becomes the backdrop for a (re)examination of his life - his behavior, his relationships, and his emotions. It is an unusually mature and finely-crafted film, well-written, elegantly staged, and beautifully acted. Sir Ben Kingsley (Transsiberian, The Wackness) plays opposite Penelope Cruz (Oscar winner for Vicky Cristina Barcelona) in the lead roles, and create one of the most believable "May-December" romances that I've seen on film, through subtlety and restraint. Dennis Hopper, Patricia Clarkson, and Peter Sarsgaard add strong supporting performances. (Blondie lead singer Deborah Harry has a very small part, but is still instantly recognizable.) Elegy ends on a note of ambiguity and uncertainty that somewhat undercuts what has preceded, but it is nonetheless a very fine film that merits watching.