7.5/10
50,778
174 user 115 critic

Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 14 October 2005 (USA)
Trailer
2:33 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A film set in a strange afterlife way station that has been reserved for people who have committed suicide.

Director: Goran Dukic
Stars: Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham, Tom Waits
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the summer of 2004, on a car journey in Eastern Europe, Pavla Fleischer met and fell in love with Eugene Hutz, lead singer of New York's Gypsy Punk band Gogol Bordello. Captivated by his... See full summary »

Director: Pavla Fleischer
Stars: Eugene Hutz, Pavla Fleischer, Boban Markovic
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A comedy centered on three flatmates living desperate lives in London.

Director: Madonna
Stars: Eugene Hutz, Holly Weston, Vicky McClure
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A lonely shoe salesman and an eccentric performance artist struggle to connect in this unique take on contemporary life.

Director: Miranda July
Stars: John Hawkes, Miranda July, Miles Thompson
Garden State (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade.

Director: Zach Braff
Stars: Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard, Natalie Portman
Ghost World (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is love-struck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world.

Director: Michel Gondry
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Miou-Miou
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Follows two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Owen Kline, Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A delusional young man strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.

Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
Cashback (2006)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a painful breakup, Ben develops insomnia. To kill time, he starts working the late night shift at the local supermarket, where his artistic imagination runs wild.

Director: Sean Ellis
Stars: Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox, Michelle Ryan
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A year after their father's funeral, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman
Somebody (2014)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The movie is about an app called Somebody, if you sent a message through somebody it goes not to your friend but a user nearer to your friend and they deliver your message verbally for you ... See full summary »

Director: Miranda July
Stars: Lika Bosman, Ariel Cohen, Mercy Edwards
Edit

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)
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

14 October 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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Eugene Hutz's band Gogol Bordello appears as the polka band that greets Elijah Wood at the train station. See more »

Goofs

When the three meet the small kid who asks them for chewing gum, the kid's hands have different positions on the window when filmed from inside the car or from his back. See more »

Quotes

Alex: I was of the opinion that the past is past, and like all that is not now it should remain burried along the side of our memories.
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

Referenced in Dexter: Everything Is Illumenated (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Zvezda Rok-n-rolla
Written by Sergei Shnurov
Performed by Leningrad
Courtesy of S.B.A. Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The collector
6 October 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

If anyone has any doubts about the talent of Liev Schrieber, just a look at his new film, "Everything is Illuminated", which clearly shows a man that is not only one of America's finest actors, but a new director whose first effort is indeed an inspiration and a harbinger of what is to follow. Mr. Schreiber has adapted the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer into a film that will live forever because of the way the director has adapted the material. The film clearly surpassed our expectations since we had no preconceived ideas.

For those who haven't watched the film, perhaps you should stop reading here.

Jonathan is a collector. His love for his grandparents is boundless. He watches as his grandfather dies and as his grandmother is on what appears to be her death bed. On a clear moment, this dying woman gives Jonathan a picture and an amber ornament for his collection. Watching the photograph, taken a long time ago, a young couple are seen together. Watching makes Jonathan think it shows the grandfather and his girlfriend, taken on happier times. Watching the snapshot seems to be the motivation for this intense young man to go looking for his ancestors' past in the Ukraine.

Jonathan has made arrangements with a travel agency, Heritage Tours, of Odessa for his trip to Trochenbrod, the mythical place where his grandfather came from. The agency is handled by an older man, who claims to be blind, and his grandson, Alex, a man who loves the pop American culture that has captured his imagination, as well as his contemporaries in the country. Alex speaks a kind of English no one speaks and his conversation and translation, for Jonathan's benefit are hilarious to our ear for the use of sometimes unheard English terms. The old man insists in taking his dog, Sammy Davis Jr., against the wishes of Jonathan, who doesn't want to sit next to the snarling and barking animal during the trip.

As they embark in search of Trochenbrod, it's clearly that his companions, especially the old man has no clue where he is going. At this point, the film becomes a road movie, as the three characters riding the back roads of the country become more acquainted with one another. As the trio arrive at the sunflower field with the house at the end, it indicates they have indeed come to the right place. Some places are a clear reminder of the conflicts of the past.

The older woman, living in the isolated place, is the missing link of the story. She is able to put things into the right perspective. But here is where the story changes its emphasis from Jonathan, who clearly has come to the land of his ancestors, to the old man. We watch as this older man starts remembering things about himself. This, in turn, changes the dynamic of the film as we discover how connected Jonathan and his guides have been all the time.

Some criticism in these pages have expressed opinions about the accuracy of the story, which after all, it's a work of fiction and liberties have been taken. It would have been impossible to make another film including so much that is contained in the book. The great way the film is divided into different chapters is a clever way to let the viewer know what's about to be seen.

Elijah Wood, a magnificent film actor, does an excellent work by underplaying Jonathan. Mr. Wood makes one of his best appearances in any film with his interpretation of the main character. The felicitous casting of Eugene Hutz as Alex, the Ukranian tour assistant and translator, seems to be an idea made in heaven. Mr. Hutz is about the best thing in the film. His arcane usage of English gives the film a funny angle that delights the viewer. Boris Leskin as Alex's grandfather and driver of the tour car makes a valuable contribution to the film, as well as Laryssa Lauret, who is seen in the last part of the movie.

The excellent cinematography of Matthew Libatique brings the splendor of the Czech Republic's countryside in all its magnificence. The musical score by Paul Cantelon is heard in the background adorning the film in ways that it adds a richness to the movie.

Above all, this is a triumph for Liev Schreiber, the first time director that will surely go far in whatever he decides to do next.


92 of 117 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
If you liked this movie, recomend another.... greermandy
Language question monkeeking
Only a 7.7/10? ryans_olson
Elijah Wood... killer_keith199
wow wtf ! Yincubus
History of Trachimbrod noharmzim
Discuss Everything Is Illuminated (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?