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7.1
/10
222 Ratings

Exit Elena

Directed by Nathan Silver
United States, 2012
Drama

Synopsis

With no place to call home, 19-year-old Elena takes a job as a live-in aide. She finds herself thrust into the middle of a family in crisis: all the things that go on between a father, grandmother, and mother. Eventually, Elena strikes something of a balance, but then the prodigal son returns home.

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Exit Elena Directed by Nathan Silver
Invisibly hovering over every scene is the differential power relation between her and everyone else in the family, young or old. For fear of being fired, she finds herself acceding to escalating daily demands coming from every direction. There is a precise, comic absurdism at work here that is worthy of Buñuel.
April 08, 2016
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While undeniably funny, Silver exploits a vérité style aesthetic, which gives the film an uncanny sense of realism. (Rather than cutting to close-ups of Elena, Silver often zooms in on her face, emphasizing an observational feel and further grounding the scenes in her perspective.) Thus, as each chapter (Limits, A New Family, Sudden Decision) of the film unfolds, the story’s banal absurdity begins to take on a surreal—even threatening—tone.
June 28, 2014
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Using mostly amateur performers and improvised dialogue, Mr. Silver has created a profoundly awkward riff on dysfunction that’s uneventful but not unrewarding. The vérité style (emphasized by the almost square 4:3 aspect ratio) and lengthy close-ups — not to mention Mr. Silver’s alarming turn as Cindy and Jim’s neurotic prodigal son — may try the patience, but it’s the small moments that win you over.
July 11, 2013
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