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Elegy

Sex and power dominate in this Roth adaptation
By TOM MEEK  |  August 20, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
Elegyinside.jpg

Sex and power have always dominated Philip Roth novels: the one enables the other. And that’s how it is in Canadian director Isabel Coixet’s adaptation of The Dying Animal, with Ben Kingsley as the writer’s alter ego, David Kepesh, a college professor whose modus operandi is to sleep with his most comely students — after they’ve taken his class. They’re short-term disposables; not so Consuela (Penélope Cruz), a Cuban beauty with traditional roots. David goes to great lengths to win her, and he does — but that doesn’t mean she’s left gaping on the hook. Kingsley makes of David more than the self-interested prick he appears to be at first, and Coixet (My Life Without Me) balances Roth’s coarse machismo with feminine humanity. None of it would resonate, however, without Cruz, who bares all in her finest performance since her days as Pedro Almodóvar’s muse. 106 minutes | Boston Common + Fenway + Fresh Pond + Circle/Chestnut Hill + Suburbs

Related: Pedro, Borat, and a castrato, Round-trip Cruz, Oscar predictions: Liberal gilt, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Pedro Almodovar, Philip Roth, Ben Kingsley,  More more >
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