I saw Isbael Coixet‘s Elegy (Samuel Goldwyn, 8.8) twice before it opened — once at a screening, again at the Aero theatre –and in so doing told myself and two or three friends that I rather liked it, or at least was okay with it. But I haven’t been able to write a darn thing about it. Despite the fine lead performances by Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz and the secondary Patricia Clarkson, Peter Sarsgaard, Dennis Hopper, etc. Despite enjoying the upscale pedigree, the obvious intelligence of Nicholas Meyer‘s screenplay (based on Phillip Roth‘s “The Dying Animal”), the tasteful nudity, the general atmosphere of cultivation, manicured toenails and older-guy gloom.

Why did I blow it off? Because there was something too glum and quiet and resigned about it — something overly subdued, sensitive, talky. I enjoyed the quality vibe, I had no real problems with any of it, but it didn’t turn me on in the slightest.
And because — here we go with another shallow thought (and what would this site be without such things on an occasional basis?) — I didn’t like the idea of a fetching 30ish brunette like Cruz going to bed with an old coot like Kingsley. He’s too weathered, too nuts (Kingsley will always be Don Logan, and vice versa), his nose has gotten too bulbous with age (it was just the right size when he made Betrayal and Gandhi in the early ’80s) and I didn’t like the bedroom scene with Clarkson when the camera just sits there and stares at the puffy soles of his white feet and his pushed-together toes for a couple of minutes straight. Call me empty, but that’s why more people haven’t paid to see it.