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The Iris Effect (2005)

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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sarah Hathaway
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Paul Bergamo
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Katya
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Rebecca
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Ivan
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Boy
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Thomas Hathaway (as Uri Kolokol)
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Detective Kateuzov
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Ben Hathaway
Scott Sturgeon ...
Dr. Lautner
Tom Lasica ...
Private Investigator
Alexey Simonov ...
Sarah's Patient
Irek Hartowicz ...
American Vice-consul (as Ireneusz Hartowicz)
Aleksandr Efimov ...
Concierge
...
Apartment Owner (as Alexey Panin)
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Storyline

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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Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

31 August 2005 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

ExLife  »

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User Reviews

 
Actors stole the movie... and dropped it into garbage
11 August 2012 | by (Zagreb, Croatia) – See all my reviews

At the moment when I write this review The Iris Effect has one of the worst rankings I've ever seen on IMDb - 2.2.

When seeing such a ranking it's more likely that a person turns a channel. However, I (can't explain why, maybe because my wife didn't want to watch shooting and fighting that had been offered on other channels) decided to give it a chance.

And I didn't regret it. No, I don't say that I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was maybe more disappointed than the other reviewers. Not because the whole movie was bad, but because it was so good in some points and what was bad was so bad that it ruined everything. So much wasted, so much spoiled.

The story was not that bad as some comments accuse the writers. If you like stories on the edge of supernatural there is no reason not to like this one. Some great borderline horrors and some great love stories have been made using some premises just beyond reality, from Don't Look Back and Milagro to Angel-A and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and with no real chance to ever be challenged let alone beaten Marianne de ma jeunesse. If you want to keep your head clean and don't expect anything except pure reality, you simply must stay away from these movies and won't be disappointed. But if you accept this playing on the edge of some different kind of existence than you can buy the plot of Iris Effect.

Some flashbacks that appear within the movie are rather clearly marked being mostly b-w, some nightmares are not marked but you understand that it was a vision or hallucination at the moment it stops. So this won't disable your ability to follow the plot. Unfortunately, the bad editing in some scenes and even more bad directing make certain scenes hard to understand, and though everything is mostly revealed at the end you still won't be sure what (and why) happened then. If it was for the bad screenplay the director could help it, but it seems that the director couldn't handle the script in his hands.

The best thing that the director did was to give open hands to director of photography. Not just for creating mood virtuosically using the old streets and buildings of Sankt Petersburg, but for many other moments, pictures, colors as well. Some of these photographic solutions create by far more magic, more suspense, more feelings and more supernatural romance than anything director did in the rest of that hour and half.

Alas, the directing was still not the worst thing in the movie. It was acting, maybe the worse acting that I've ever seen in a mainstream movie made in any country that produces more than five movies per decade. Their acting could be best describes as a torture, and though I mean primarily they've tortured us, I can't get rid of the feeling that the actors felt tortured as well. Have they realized that the movie is going to be a failure? Or have they been pressed by their agents to do it, with not a grain of their own free will? The words that they've been saying have sounded less realistic than you can hear on primary school kids performance. They had to say it, but they gave not a bit of soul in it.

It was a pleasant surprise that Americans talked English and Russians talked Russian (unlike most modern movies where everybody talks English including aliens), but the way these actors talked was worse than usual dubbing (have you ever heard dubbing made for Russian or Polish audience?). Kip Pardue had a great opportunity, because his character could be (because of the plot) the most interesting, but he acted as if he was afraid to reveal some secrets too soon. Gregory Hlady was unconvincing as a psychiatrist, as a lover and no more convincing as a Rebecca's secret accomplice. Agnes Bruckner didn't get enough footage, but at least she had from the first appearance let us know there is something secret about her and make us wonder what it is. It's weird how did Russians let some of their characters who were supposed to be officials (and represent the country) like detective Kateuzov (but not just him) look completely ridiculous like caricatures, something we could expect that Americans would do making fun and deriding people from some distant third world country.

And finally, there's Ann Archer. I believe there are several million women around the world that would do this job better. All I'll say is that if she were such a wife to Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction, it would be more than than normal for him to commit not only adultery but to assist Glenn Close in murdering her as well. And we'd support him if he did it.

Now I have to conclude it by something that I've never thought I'd ever write. I have been opposing making remakes from the first moment I've understood that they exist, but now, I wish that among so many not only unnecessary but adverse, noxious, absurd remakes that Hollywood permanently produces somebody remembers The Iris Effect and brushes its screenplay just a little, and then gives it a chance with new director and actors that won't even remind us to the team that made it in 2005.


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