Watch: Everything Is Illuminated 2005 123movies, Full Movie Online – Jewish-American writer Jonathan Safran Foer is a collector of his family’s memorabilia, although most of the items, some which he takes without asking, would not be considered keepsakes by the average person. He places most of those items in individual Ziploc bags, and hangs them on his keepsake wall under the photograph of the person to who it is most associated. He has this compulsion in an effort to remember. He is able to tie a photograph that he receives from his grandmother, Sabine Foer, on her deathbed – it of his grandfather, Safran Foer, during the war in the Ukraine, and a young woman he will learn is named Augustine – back to a pendant he stole from his grandfather on his deathbed in 1989, the pendant of a glass encased grasshopper. Learning that Augustine somehow saved his grandfather’s life leads to Jonathan going on a quest to find out the story at its source where the photograph was taken, in a now non-existent and probably largely forgotten town called Trachimbrod that was razed by the Nazis during the war, he armed only with his limited knowledge, the pendant, his grandfather’s Star of David necklace, the photograph, tip “money”, and an old and largely outdated map. Prior to arriving in the Ukraine, Jonathan prearranges the guide services of Odessa-based Heritage Tours, which specializes in helping Jewish expats discover their past. The company is owned and operated by three generations of the Alexander Perchov family, who generally think Jewish people are stupid for wanting to revisit their past, and spend large sums of money for their services in doing so. The three from Heritage assigned to Jonathan’s file are: the company founder Alexander I (“Grandpa”), the retired, non-blind blind man who will be the driver; his “seeing eye” dog, Sammy Davis Jr. Jr., a deranged bitch of a dog; and Alexander III (“Alex”), a western pop cultural loving young man, whose broken English will need to suffice for translation. Jonathan will learn that his guides are a loving but dysfunctional lot who have little interest in helping him beyond taking his money. But during their time together, this quest will affect Jonathan, Grandpa and Alex in different ways, all tied to the value of remembering..
Plot: A young Jewish American man endeavors—with the help of eccentric, distant relatives—to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II—in a Ukrainian village which was ultimately razed by the Nazis.
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|7.4/10 Votes: 58,716|
|66% | RottenTomatoes|
|58/100 | MetaCritic|
|N/A Votes: 636 Popularity: 5.793 | TMDB|
A fresh and funny look on one of history’s nightmare
Everything Is Illuminated A young Jewish American searches for the woman that helped his grandfather escape Nazi persecution while embarking on a cross-European tour with some unlikely associates.
Liev Schreiber makes his directorial debut with a playful angst usually associated with his acting ethos. When successful actors decide to sit in the director’s chair, we usually get a biographical glimpse at the souls beneath the acting mask- Check. We usually get a mishmash of genres- Check. But what we normally do not get is an insightful original film which is credible, intelligent and moving.
Elijah Wood plays Jonathan, an inquisitive young boy who collects pieces of life as he goes. He is on a mission to find a woman in a photograph. The sepia picture bears his grandfather (an uncanny resemblance to him) and the woman. To aid his journey he enlists the help of travel guides that comprise of a Hip-Hop loving break-dancer, Alex (Eugene Hutz), his apathetic and perma-vexed grandfather (Boris Leskin) and his dog- Sammy Davis Junior Jr! What ensues is essentially a comedy. There is an un-patronisingly simple introduction with voice-overs. Alex’s is especially funny as he educates his younger brother on the year 1969, proving how popular he is with the chicks and break-dancing thus setting him up as Jonathan’s antithesis.
Schreiber begins to break down the characters as they progress and the comedy acts as an intentional veil to what is a story about three people linked to the holocaust who do not really know themselves. All three hold the film with tenderness and authenticity something Schreiber was unlikely to get wrong and as enchanting and fantastical as the film is, the horrors that are allowed to crack through, i.e. the past are presented in an almost palatable tone (incidental music, cinematography) which make them all the more unsettling.
As the unlikely group finally find the town they seek they learn of the true atrocities that occurred and find out a lot about who they really are.
Elijah wood is as authentic as usual, bringing his usual innocence and strength to the screen. Formally a resident good in Lord of the Rings and a resident evil in Sin City he plays Jonathan with aplomb as he is bombarded with culture shocks and a quest for truth. Boris Leskin as the grandfather also delivers his angst and frustration at the youths with great humour and conviction as his own past is unravelled. However, it is Eugene Hutz as Alex that makes the show. The director using that old trade of translation misunderstandings to create and maintain a humour that is actually funny and not gimmicky.
Schreiber has delivered an enchanting debut that has both heart and soul. The continuous score and beautiful photography creates a fairy tale haze around a story about identity, truth and family. If there was a complaint, it would be the speed at which the film changes direction; though this could have been intentional it may not sit well with all. Nevertheless this is a sterling effort that delivers great comedy and bonding between an unlikely group while dissecting another aspect of the horrors of World War 2 in a completely fresh fashion.
This film first grabs you with its quirkiness but, then, surprises by developing into more than just a lark of zaniness. It starts when a young American who can only be described as bizarre decides to travel to the Ukraine to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis during WWII. This young man is a collector of items taken from various family members. Each item is placed in a zip-lock bag, labeled, and attached to his bedroom wall. His guides in Russia are a man his own age who is infatuated with American rock culture and the man’s grandfather who makes money from visiting Jews who wish to trace the home villages of lost relatives. Even though he is the driver, the old man claims that he is blind, so the trio is accompanied by a snarling “seeing eye bitch,” Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior. As the four set out, you might assume this is merely going to be a wacky road movie, but the journey becomes an insightful look at regret, devotion, sacrifice, and humanity.
Jonathan, the young American is played by Elijah Wood, already noted for his somewhat hypnotic wide-eyed expressions, who here has an even wider-eyed look, thanks to black, heavy rimmed glasses with abnormal magnification. Technically, he is the lead of the film but, because he is the collector and observer, his movements and actions are minimal. Wood is a master of portraying emotions and actions with a minimum of movement.
Alex, the young Ukrainian is played with vigor and style by Eugene Hutz who, in reality, is a member of a Ukrainian rock group. It is Alex who narrates the story using endearing misuse of words as though he was translated from Ukrainian to English by some computer with no appreciation of meter or style. Thus the title Everything Is Illuminated which actually means “all is understood.” It is through his narrative filled with innocent appreciation of certain aspects of American culture and childlike quest for understanding that we see the metamorphosis of the three men who take this journey to discover the past.
The illumination of the grandfather is the driving force behind the human drama of this film, and it is his experience that helps the two younger men come to a better understanding of their heritage.
The DVD contains several entertaining fantasy sequences that were cut from the film. These offer further insight into the daydreams of Jonathan and Alex. The ones featuring Alex are lots of fun because of their ribbing of some of those aspects of American culture that the character so admires.
This little film has good acting, interesting characters, unique locations, lots of quirky fun, and a great big heart. I recommend it for two hours of pleasure and, perhaps, several minutes of reflection about how life and events shape us and anybody we influence.
This little film has good acting, interesting characters, unique locations, lots of quirky fun, and a great big heart. I recommend it for two hours of pleasure and, perhaps, a number of minutes of reflection upon how life and events shape ourselves and those over which we have influence.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 46 min (106 min)
Genre Comedy, Drama
Director Liev Schreiber
Writer Jonathan Safran Foer, Liev Schreiber
Actors Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, Boris Lyoskin
Country United States
Awards 7 wins & 6 nominations
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix DTS, Dolby Digital, SDDS
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1
Camera Arricam LT, Arricam ST, Arriflex 435
Laboratory Barrandov Laboratore, Prague, Czech Republic (film laboratory), PostWorks, New York (NY), USA (digital intermediate), Technicolor, Hollywood (CA), USA (color)
Film Length N/A
Negative Format 35 mm (Kodak Vision 320T 5277)
Cinematographic Process Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format), Super 35 (3-perf) (source format)
Printed Film Format 35 mm (spherical) (Fuji Eterna-CP 3513DI)