Rated 4.0

After giving 17 bad performances with 17 different bad accents in 2008, Ben Kingsley found the perfect part in Isabel Coixet’s smart, mournful Elegy, based on Philip Roth’s The Dying Animal. Kingsley plays David Kepesh, an aging but still libidinous critic and professor whose idea of chivalry is waiting until after the semester ends before screwing his pretty female students. Kepesh, like Roth, was an icon of the sexual revolution, and he spent decades avoiding serious relationships, both with his lovers (including Patricia Clarkson) and with his still-seething son (Peter Saarsgaard). The arrival of a soulful beauty (Penélope Cruz) that he genuinely falls in love with upsets his comfortable existence, forcing him to confront a lifetime of loneliness and emotional estrangements.