Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

PG-13   |    |  Comedy, Drama


Everything Is Illuminated (2005) Poster

A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.

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7.5/10
54,584

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  • Laryssa Lauret and Boris Lyoskin in Everything Is Illuminated (2005)
  • Eugene Hutz in Everything Is Illuminated (2005)
  • Elijah Wood and Eugene Hutz in Everything Is Illuminated (2005)
  • Elijah Wood at an event for Everything Is Illuminated (2005)
  • Eugene Hutz in Everything Is Illuminated (2005)
  • Elijah Wood and Eugene Hutz in Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

Liev Schreiber

Writers:

Jonathan Safran Foer (novel), Liev Schreiber (screenplay)

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User Reviews


16 November 2005 | Bob Pr.
9
| A "sleeper" -- it grew on me and became better with time
I saw this last night and voted it an "8". Since then, it's grown on me and I'd give it a "9".

The film has (at first) a seemingly slightly disconnected facade between the first and second halves. The first half is a comedy and there's little hint of the ragged truths of eras, life, wars, religious intolerance that will become revealed in the second half. While at first it may be a little disconcerting because it's a slightly unfamiliar narrative sequence, on reflection it works.

The acting was good (Hultz in the role of Alex, the interpreter, was especially great).

I've scanned most other "User Comments" and see that some who've read the book are pleased with the movie while there are a few who are not. Both feelings, of course, are valid.

For me, a retired family therapist and one-world believer, the film was relevant on two different levels.

The first, as history, gave a powerful reminder of how commonly polarizations happen -- with demonizing and trying to exterminate any of those with a smidge different moral value system than our own.

The second was that in demonstrating the first, it also revealed something in common to EACH of us, ALL our families -- that each of us must go back to our roots to more fully understand ourselves.

T.S. Eliot expressed this exquisitely in the 4th of his "Four Quartets" when he said: -- "We shall not cease from exploration// And the end of all our exploring// Will be to arrive where we started// And know the place for the first time."

Jonathan goes on a fulfilling journey that any of us would find fantastically illuminating -- to explore and discover our roots; what were those people going through then, who were they -- really! -- before, when, and during the early years before and after we were born? Etc.

So the film at first gives us the impression of a comedy, then shifts to give us a lesson in history and human deficiencies, but through all that it also gives us -- subliminally -- a message about each of ourselves. All of us would be abundantly rewarded to go back and understand the place from which we first started.

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