Everything is Illuminated – Explore the Past to Understand The Present
This directorial debut by character actor Liev Schreiber, about a young Jewish man who travels to Ukraine to search out the woman who helped his family escape to America. Framed by beautiful cinematography and fun music, this black comedy/road trip film is entertaining and thought provoking.
WHY YOU’LL LIKE IT
Understand this is a “Black Comedy” or “Dark Comedy” in the style of Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) and just may not be your style. The humor is dry, sometimes subtle, but I cried a few times, I was laughing so hard.
Elijah Wood (as the Jew, Jonathan Safran Foer) did a good job as the eccentric rich American, but the movie is stolen by musician turned actor Eugene Hutz (as Alex the translator). His mis-interpretations (or too literal) and sight gags are entertaining, but as we un-peel the layers we get an unforgettable glimpse into another culture.
There are some crude parts to the film, especially at the beginning, thus the rating: Rated PG-13 for disturbing images/violence, sexual content and language. That aside, as the movie moves on, the crudeness fades.
Leave the kids out of this one, but watch it. There are sub-titles in parts, so be ready to do some reading, but don’t let that turn you off. The sub-titling not only adds to the experience, but adds to the story itself (you’ll have to watch to understand).