Update on Leo Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilyich," set in contemporary Hollywood.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ivan Beckman
Don West
Charlotte White
Joanne Duckman ...
Marcia Beckman
Amanda Hill
Rosemary Kramer
Constanza Vero
Barry Oaks
Francesca Knight
Danny McTeague
Marie Stein (as Tiffani-Amber Thiessen)
Lucy Lawrence (as Morgan Vukovic)
Crystal Atkins ...
Alex Butler ...
Brad East
Robert Graham ...
Sid Beckman


Ivan Beckman, Hollywood's most sought after talent agent, the darling and crown prince of La-La Land is dead. How and why did it happen? Was it drugs, murder or excess, or perhaps something altogether more mundane? We begin with an ending and then catapult back a number of days to the apex of Ivan's brilliant career as he bags international megastar Don West onto his company's books, and then charts the highs, lows (and they are so very low) and extreme excesses of his final days. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A real Hollywood story. See more »




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Release Date:

19 July 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ivans xtc.  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,544 (USA) (14 June 2002)


$21,378 (USA) (14 June 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[Upon hearing of Ivan Beckman's death]
Don West: What, did he freebase his face off?
See more »


Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »


Fantasie in F minor
Composed by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

A haunting masterpiece, unbelievably great!
27 September 2002 | by (London) – See all my reviews

This is really one of the most honest, most genuinely unnerving films I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot, by any standards). My lady and i didn't speak the whole hour driving home, just sat in stunned contemplation of this stunning film. As we drove, I could almost not believe just how superb this film was.

Huston is an absolute revelation as Ivan, a once-in-a-lifetime performance that seems to have sprung into life fully formed and whole. His is one of the greatest faces cinema has offered, full of humanity and pathos, at once a recognisable everyman and a unique and extraordinary figure.

The narrative's initially gimmicky flashback structure become essential as we are allowed to see the fundamental pointlessness of the feckless Ivan's life even before we meet him.

Flashing back, we then see the last few weeks of Ivan's life as he finds he has terminal cancer and slowly wastes away, surrounded by the most tacky/glamourous trappings of Hollywood life.

From the early realisation of Ivan's insignificance, we are drawn to see him as fully alive and utterly human.

This is the triumph of the director's intensely humanist vision, a moving testament to the individual worth and humanity of each of us, even the most lost and dissolute amongst us.

Equally rich are the surrounding performances, the whole cast working tiny wonders, but special mention certainly belongs to Huston and also Peter Weller, the latter giving what I think must be his strongest ever role. His sleazy big-shot actor is an instant classic, utterly true and blackly comic.

I lived and worked in the industry in Hollywood and I recognised many of the characters and situations. In the whole film, not one false note was struck. The locations expertly chosen, from the Sky bar to the winding backroads around Mulholland and Hollywood Blvd at dawn, the feel of Ivan's Hollywood was exactly right.

I recommend this film to anyone looking for difficult but richly rewarding, thought-provoking cinema. It is not entertainment, but it performs the quiet miracles that few film-makers even attempt, let alone achieve with these devastating results. A triumph, a truly visionary work and clearly a labour of love for all involved, Ivan's xtc is simply astounding, quite the equal to the early works of Ingmar Bergman and I can think of no higher praise than that.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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