Cruz, Kingsley play lovers in new film "Elegy"

Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:05pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Mike Collett-White

BERLIN (Reuters) - Penelope Cruz and Ben Kingsley team up in a movie based on Philip Roth's short novel "The Dying Animal," about a charismatic and selfish professor who loses his composure when he falls in love with a student half his age.

"Elegy," which premieres at the Berlin Film Festival on Sunday, deals with universal themes of love, death and illness, and portrays beauty as a burden as well as a blessing.

It also seeks to show that growing old does not necessarily mean growing up, as Kingsley's character, David Kepesh, preserves his independence while failing to overcome impulses of jealousy and doubt that threaten to undermine the relationship.

The movie, which will be released later this year, is directed by Spain's Isabel Coixet.

British actor Kingsley, 64, said it was Kepesh's vulnerability which attracted him to the role.

"She (Coixet) created an environment in which we could be very vulnerable to each other and very vulnerable to our feelings, and I think the highest currency that any actor can deal in is vulnerability," he told a press conference.

As Kepesh loses control of his emotions, Cruz's character, Consuela Castillo, grows in confidence and towards the end remarks that she feels older than him.

"Which is the dying animal in the movie? Is it me or her? That's the irony," Kinsgley said.   Continued...

<p>Actrors Penelope Cruz (L) and Ben Kingsley attends a news conference to present their film 'Elegy' running in the competition at the 58th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 10, 2008. The 58th Berlinale, one of the world's most prestigious film festivals, will run from February 7 to 17 in the German capital. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele</p>