Thursday, June 15, 2006

Your Assignment: Rent Everything Is Illuminated

At the recommendation of Will, my wife & I watched the film Everything is Illuminated.

The film was released in 2005, is directed by Liev Schreiber and is based off the novel by 28 year old author Jonathan Safran Foer.

This movie tells the story of Jonathan Safran Foer (Elijah Wood)* who is deeply connected to the past and possessions of his Jewish family (aka his dead grandmothers false teeth, etc.) and yet has very few things he has collected from his grandfather who died when he was a child. Jonathan gets a photograph from his dying grandmother that gives him the clues he needs to go on the search for the Ukrainian woman who saved his grandfather during WWII.

All this leads to Jonathan being assisted by a cranky old Ukrainian man, a Ukrainian hipster (Eugene Hutz), and their dog, Sammy Davis jr. jr. (yes that's right jr. jr.)

This is one of those movies that is funny, kind of goofy, but also uniquely serious, and strangely spiritual. This movie is highly enjoyable and I highly recommend it.

I'd love to talk more about it but I assume you haven't seen it...so your assignment...go rent the movie Everything is Illuminated.

*Yes the main character is named after the author of the book.

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14 comments:

Wendy said...

I've been wanting to see this, but was bummed when it got such middling reviews.

Will said...

Boy, I'm glad you liked this as much as I did, RC! Now your assignment is to recommend a good film to me that I haven't seen.
:-)

Lori said...

Hey RC---

I figured since you were nice enough to visit my place, I'd drop in. I totally remember seeing the trailer for this movie...and I wanted to see it, but I forgot about it. I'll definitely rent it if I can find it.

Anomie-Atlanta said...

Since you liked this movie, you should read the book "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian" by Marina Lewycka.

RC said...

Will, you've certainly watched a lot of movies, so it'd be hard to know what to recommend...i will try to think if anything a little more obscure comes to mind.

Anomie-atlanta, i have actually seen the book you mention and thought "that looks really interesting, i think I would like it."

I take it you have read it and like it?

Ann Spam said...

I'm sure you'd absolutely love the book if you liked the movie. I think books, (for novel-based movies anyway) are always nicer than the movies because of the extra insight they provide. Also, they give you more things to ponder on.

Who played Brod? And the Kolker? With the blade in his head?

Kimberly Ann said...

i loved this movie! i was really surprised by how it was both witty and touching.

Anomie-Atlanta said...

Read and loved it! I highly recommend reading it.

Sheri Ann said...

I have picked this up numerous times thinking about renting it. Guess I will have to now!

JW said...

I already saw this awhile back, it was pretty good. Not *spectacular*, but pretty good. Certainly much better than the reviews I read of it.

JW

fictiondepartment.blogspot.com

MCF said...

Adding to my netflix queue in 3....2.....1....

The Zoner said...

also adding to my netflix queue...

andrea said...

Initially I didn't wanted to watch this movie.The day after I read your post I saw it at the library. I thought, why not it is free...it's can be that bad. Well I laughed, cried, etc, etc. it was great..partly because I was surprised. I loved the interpreting and stuff like, "We're you able to manufacture some zzzz?" Thanks!

unrelated note: do you know when, War Tapes, is coming to fort worth?

MCF said...

Hey RC, good call on this movie. I hadn't heard of it, rented it based on your review, and didn't like it. I kept thinking Wood was reprising his Sin City role with those glasses. Then, about 10 minutes in the Ukraine hipster gets his introductory monologue, with that PREMIUM wonderful broken English. The band he greets "Jonfen" with cracked me up, and I LOVED the dog's shirt. It was really fun and quirky, and then got serious and somber without being heavy. Overall, it was a great story with a great blend of humor and humanity, and even the cartoonish comic releif translator gets some depth. Thanks for the recommendation!

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