Elephant hasn't lost any of its impact over time.
It's best to leave all hope of a decent storyline behind when you want to watch this film. Gerry is all about the experience, ignoring the rest and foregoing all compromises.
The good stuff
Worthy but flawed
Aokigahara has become a popular location for movies, in the hands of Gus Van Sant (thinking of Gerry in particular) it could've been genius. Sadly the reality is a bit different. The film is overly sentimental, the drama is poor, the acting way too heavy-handed. A missed opportunity that doesn't warrant its running time.
Gus van Sant needs another winner, because his career is slowly but surely slipping into mediocrity. This film does little to curve that trend, on the contrary. Tepid drama, gross overacting and a dreary story make this a real pain to sit through. In some instances van Sant's talent shines through, but they are few and far apart.