Star of Elena up for top award

A Russian actress will compete for Europe’s equivalent of the Oscars, the European Film Awards. Among the contenders for the coveted honors are such world-known luminaries as Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Tilda Swinton.

¬≠Theater actress Nadezhda Markina has been lauded for her stunning part in Andrey Zvyagintsev’s latest drama Elena, which picked up a Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

The 52-year-old charismatic star had her breakthrough role in Elena, in which she played the title character. The film invokes emotions and moods that lie within human nature and can be hard to cope with or withstood. It is a work of art with worldwide appeal, reflecting on fears, senses and morals.

The Russian film relates to a middle-aged couple, Elena and Vladimir, coming from different walks of society. He is a well-off businessman; she is a former medical worker, now a housewife. Each has children from previous marriages: Elena’s son is permanently unemployed, with a wife and two children living off Elena’s donations from her pension and her husband’s support. Vladimir’s daughter Katya is also quite hard to deal with. After a sudden heart attack, Vladimir is in a hurry to make his will, according to which his daughter will be his only beneficiary. This sudden decision is just about to ruin Elena’s hopes to continue helping her only son through her rich husband. The loving wife commits a murder for the comfort of her son and grandchildren.

Markina’s main competitor will be the 29-year-old Kirsten Dunst, nominated for her part in Lars von Trier’s mind-blowing Melancholia.

The 24th EFA winners are to be unveiled in Berlin on December 3.

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