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Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  16 September 2005 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 47,449 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 170 user | 111 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Everything Is Illuminated (2005) on IMDb 7.5/10

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6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Leaf Blower
Jana Hrabetova ...
Jonathan's Grandmother
Stephen Samudovsky ...
Jonathan's Grandfather Safran
...
Young Jonathan
Oleksandr Choroshko ...
Alexander Perchov, Father
Gil Kazimirov ...
Igor
Zuzana Hodkova ...
Alex's Mother
Mikki ...
Sammy Davis Jr. Jr.
Mouse ...
Sammy Davis Jr. Jr.
Boris Leskin ...
Robert Chytil ...
Breakdancer
Jaroslava Sochova ...
Woman on Train
Sergei Ryabtsev ...
Ukrainian Band Member (as Sergej Rjabcev)
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Storyline

A young Jewish American flies to Ukraine in search of his grandfather's past. He has a photograph and the name of a village. He hires Odessa Heritage Tours, made up of a gruff old man and his English-speaking grandson. The three, plus grandfather's deranged dog, travel in an old car from Odessa into Ukraine's heart. Jonathan, the American, is a collector, putting things he finds into small plastic bags, so he will remember. Alex, the interpreter, is an archetypal wild and crazy guy. Alex asks the old man, "Was there anti-Semitism in the Ukraine before the war?" Will they find the village? The past illuminates everything. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Leave Normal Behind.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images/violence, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

16 September 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Collector  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$66,806 (USA) (16 September 2005)

Gross:

$1,705,595 (USA) (25 November 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jonathan Safran Foer:  appears as the leaf blower at the beginning of the film. See more »

Goofs

When Alex's grandfather asks Alex and Jonathan to leave, Jonathan immediately leaves, even though Alex has not translated the request into English. This, however, was most likely a creative choice to show the power and emotion of Alex's grandfather's words. See more »

Quotes

Alex: Please tell me, is the Shaq also the Jew?
Jonathan: Who?
Alex: The Shaqweel O'Neal, the Los Angeles Laker.
Jonathan: Uh, no.
Alex: And Michael Jackson?
Jonathan: [Scoffs] *No*, definitely not a Jew.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Several songs are credited to the New York punk/Gypsy/Jewish klezmer band, Gogol Bordello, which is led by Eugene Hutz, who plays Alex in the film (the same band greets Jonathan when he arrives on the train). The last of these songs, "Start Wearing Purple (For Me Now)," which plays over the end credits, is credited to both a correct spelling (Gogol Bordello), dg and Gogol Bodello, an incorrect spelling. See more »

Connections

References Sin City (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Amari Szi, Amari
Written by Keren Chave
Performed by Csokolom
Arranged by Anti Von Klewitz and Tradition Music Co.
Courtesy of Arhoolie Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A stranger in a strange land so to speak.
6 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In Everything Is Illuminated, Elijah Wood plays Jonathan Foer, a Jewish American who is looking for the woman who saved his grandfather during WWII. In a sense, the woman that saved his entire family.

This is a heart-felt tale about someone who is on a seemingly hopeless journey. A stranger in a strange land so to speak. Jonathan is not entirely prepared for this adventure, he sticks out like a sore thumb in the Ukraine (he would probably stick out like a sore thumb anywhere). But what he discovers is more, much more than he anticipated. This movie will make you laugh and will make you cry. Elijah Wood is really good in this film, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer.

From someone I talked to, this movie is somewhat different from the book. A book I gather is really good. Nevertheless, this is a good movie, it has something for everyone and I really enjoyed it. Can someone say Oscar?


129 of 173 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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