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Based on 10 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 20
    Joe Neumaier New York Daily News

    Alas, this learned woman of letters - her expertise became the work of Dostoyevsky, whose major novels Geier nicknames "the five elephants" - is ill served by a trudging approach and dry-as-dust, procedural style. show more

  • 70
    The Hollywood Reporter

    The result is that rare thing in cinema -- an intellectually-stimulating crowd-pleaser. show more

  • 70
    Mark Jenkins NPR

    Quietly astonishing documentary. show more

  • 75
    V.A. Musetto New York Post

    The film is most effective when Geier, accompanied by a granddaughter, goes to Ukraine to speak at a school. show more

  • 75
    Jesse Cataldo Slant Magazine

    Watching Svetlana Geierat work, parsing the wild complexities of language as she converts Russian into German, the doc becomes a meditation on enforcing order in a world that refuses to accept it. show more

  • 80
    Keith Uhlich Time Out New York

    Jendreyko elegantly sketches in the details of his subject's life and the historical events surrounding her coming-of-age-out of which emerges a fascinating subtext about the malleable powers of language. show more

  • 60
    John P. McCarthy Boxoffice Magazine

    Gingerly pieced together, The Woman with the 5 Elephants has a delicacy and indirectness that's alluring and provocative at the same time. show more

  • 70
    Village Voice

    Geier, who died in 2010, speaks on all subjects - from her son's mortal injury to the nature of her various collaborations - with the contemplative, courtly intelligence of her favorite novels. show more

  • 70
    Mike Hale The New York Times

    It's an interesting story, well told, though Mr. Jendreyko overworks some documentary fallbacks: gnarled fingers, the view from a moving train. show more

  • 83
    Noel Murray The A.V. Club

    The Woman With The 5 Elephants isn't flawless; as articulate and fascinating as Geier could be, she was also dry at times. But Jendreyko cleverly parcels out her personal history, and he isn't afraid to break up the talkiness with long silences and luminous images. show more

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