DVD Everything is Illuminated (DVD 18244),
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Everything is Illuminated
Region 1 USA/CA (
Acclaimed actor Liev Schrieber (DAYTRIPPERS, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE) makes his directorial debut in this adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's bestselling novel about a young Jewish-American writer of the same name. Mixing equal parts black comedy and poignant drama, the film follows Jonathan (Elijah Wood) as he travels to the Ukraine to solve a family secret. There he meets his barely legitimate tour guides: Alex (Eugene Hutz, member of the folk-punk band Gogol Bordello), a cosmopolitan playboy obsessed with Michael Jackson and other American icons; Alex's grandfather (Boris Leskin), a man worn down by life who seems to be losing his grip on reality; and Sammy Davis, Jr. Jr, the "seeing-eye bitch" dog who comes along for the ride. As Jonathan closes in on his goal--to find the story behind the woman who saved his grandfather during the Holocaust--it becomes clear that Alex's grandfather has a dark secret of his own that needs to be, as the film suggests, illuminated.
EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED lives up to the quirkiness of its source material, and is similar to films like BEING JOHN MALKOVICH or LOST IN TRANSLATION. Filmed on location in Prague, the film features breathtaking landscapes, including a memorable scene in a field of sunflowers. Also notable is the film's soundtrack, which features songs by Gogol Bordello, as well as an outstanding ethnic score by Paul Cantelon. Quirky, funny, sweet, and sad, Schreiber's excellent adaptation provides both closure and hope for survivors of the Holocaust.
- disturbing images/violence, sexual content and language
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 59342
Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, Eugene Htz, Boris Leskin, Laryssa Lauret, Liev Schreiber
"Schreiber's heartfelt project earns points for disciplined ambition....Impressively well lit." -- Grade: B+
"Schreiber elicits fine performances. Wood works with great subtlety, and Hutz is marvelously engaging..."
Movieline's Hollywood Life
"[Hutz gives] a performance of great comic instinct and unexpected subtlety....[A] humane, moving road trip."
"[T]he story's intrinsic value and imaginative zest remain, as does the book's hilarious dialogue.The result is a charming and eccentric story of a journey through the back roads of the Ukraine, with a pair of unlikely guides."
"Hutz's embodiment of 'street' Kiev is a blast....Lifted directly from the book, his mangled English raises the film's biggest laughs..."
Sight and Sound
4 stars out of 5 -- "Schreiber's balance of offbeat humour and tragedy is perfectly judged, while Leskin steals the show as the man unlocking terrible secrets from the past."
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