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The Iris Effect (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Mystery, Thriller, Drama  |  31 August 2005 (Russia)
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Ten years ago Sarah Hathaway's gifted and troubled son, Thomas, ran away from their home in Los Angeles. Unable to deal with the doubt and guilt, Sarah's life slowly disintegrates ending in... See full summary »



(based on work by), , 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Hathaway
Paul Bergamo
Thomas Hathaway (as Uri Kolokol)
Viktor Sukhorukov ...
Detective Kateuzov
Ben Hathaway
Scott Sturgeon ...
Dr. Lautner
Tom Lasica ...
Private Investigator
Alexey Simonov ...
Sarah's Patient
American Vice-consul (as Ireneusz Hartowicz)
Aleksandr Efimov ...
Aleksey Panin ...
Apartment Owner (as Alexey Panin)


Ten years ago Sarah Hathaway's gifted and troubled son, Thomas, ran away from their home in Los Angeles. Unable to deal with the doubt and guilt, Sarah's life slowly disintegrates ending in a painful divorce from her husband. Sarah refuses to give up hope of ever finding Thomas and hires a private detective who unexpectedly turns up a new clue as to his whereabouts. Convinced her son is now living abroad, Sarah travels to Russia. Against the backdrop of St. Petersburg's stark beauty, Sarah becomes convinced that her son is the artist behind several paintings being sold in an upmarket gallery. Guided by a mysterious mute street boy, Sarah embarks on an desperate and dangerous adventure to discover the truth about the paintings' origins. Sarah becomes involved with Ivan, a Russian psychiatrist. Russian authorities begin to pressure Sarah to leave the country. Sarah is determined not to leave until she finds her son...or the truth. Written by Eugeni Efuni

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31 August 2005 (Russia)  »

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ExLife  »

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User Reviews

Beautiful scenes of St. Petersburg, but nothing more.
22 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Have you ever seen a movie set in a foreign country and felt the impulse to book a flight there immediately? The Iris Effect had this effect on me. The images in this film, of Saint Petersburg, are spell-binding, to say the least. I felt immediately drawn to the mysterious, shadowy, plaintive tones that Irek Hartowicz's masterful photography captures of SP. Unfortunately, the film is otherwise an embarrassment. The script is uninspired, the acting, especially Anne Archer's performance, a sheer anguish, and the denouement absurd. I feel certain that Lebedev was thinking of Don't Look Now when he made this film, and he manages to create a similar atmosphere in The Iris Effect by thwarting at every turn the mother's attempts to uncover the truth regarding the fate of her son. But you can't make a film about a supposedly accomplished artist who has been missing for ten years and whose disappearance, following a fight with his mother, is linked to his quest for self-discovery and artistic glory, if the art he made is of the quality you might find, at best, at Pier One. The director also fails to develop the obvious iris/ iris metaphor--for some silly reason, I kept waiting for the director to do something with this, even though I knew, a minute into the film, that we were already scraping cinematic rock- bottom and that I could probably swim the length of the Gulf of Finland before anything momentous happened.

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