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The Italian (2005)
"Italyanets" (original title)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,504 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 26 user | 61 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

Set in 2002, an abandoned 5-year-old boy living in a rundown orphanage in a small Russian village is adopted by an Italian family.

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Title: The Italian (2005)

The Italian (2005) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nikolay Spiridonov ...
Vanya Solntsev (as Kolya Spiridonov)
Mariya Kuznetsova ...
Madam
Nikolay Reutov ...
Grisha
Yuriy Itskov ...
Direktor
Denis Moiseenko ...
Kolyan
Andrey Elizarov ...
Seryy
Aleksandr Sirotkin ...
Timokha (as Sasha Sirotkin)
Vladimir Shipov ...
Vovan
Polina Vorobeva ...
Natakha
Olga Shuvalova ...
Irka
Dmitriy Zemlyanko ...
Anton (as Dima Zemlyanko)
Darya Yugrens ...
Mama Mukhina (as Darya Lesnikova)
Rudolf Kuld ...
Storozh
Tatyana Zakharova
Irina Osnovina ...
Sosedka
Edit

Storyline

Vanya is a 6 year old orphan living in a rundown orphanage in a remote Russian village. For Vanya and the other children, life is without hope, unless, of course, they are adopted by wealthy foreigners. For Vanya, hope comes in the form of an Italian couple. But while arrangements are being made an incident occurs when the mother of another child appears, seeking her son. Vanya begins to wonder what would happen if his own mother reappeared, and he was living in Italy.With the assistance of older children, Vanya is able to access his records and find the possible whereabouts of his mother. He escapes and travels across the country, pursued by the adoption agents. Written by johnno.r[at]xtra.co.nz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the true story of a young Russian orphan who sets out to find his mother. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, sexual content, language and thematic issues | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

22 September 2005 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

The Italian  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$23,290 (USA) (19 January 2007)

Gross:

$552,546 (USA) (22 June 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (PAL DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Russia's Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 78th Annual Academy Awards (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dickensian in the best sense of the word
18 June 2008 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Despite a title that hints at a modern-day stab at Italian neo-realism in the vein of The Bicycle Thieves, as others have noted, Andrei Kravchuk's The Italian plays very much like a Charles Dickens story - had Dickens been Russian and alive in the 21st century. Vanya Soltnsev (Kolya Spiridonov) is the modern-day Oliver Twist in a particularly bleak Russian orphanage run by the corrupt Madam and a weak-willed headmaster, both turning a profit on arranging adoptions for foreign couples. But when a mother who abandoned her child appears at the orphanage in a vain attempt to be reunited, he becomes obsessed with the possibility that his own mother might still want him and determines to find her in the big city - but Madam has already sold him to an Italian couple and sets off in hot pursuit...

It's a sincere film, but it doesn't quite hit home as hard as it wants to. The first half of the film paints in the details of the everyday corruption in the orphanage, where the corrupt adult administration is mirrored by an equally corrupt gang of children, but despite the grey, colourless stones it doesn't anger or outrage as much as it could. Possibly modern audiences have become slightly desensitised to this kind of material from decades of news exposes, but the first half of the film does tend to drag a little before Vanya makes his escape. It's in this section that the film really comes to life, gradually accumulating color and vitality denied the early scenes as Vanya is both helped and hindered by those he meets on his way to the big city, and it's here that the film finally starts to engage the emotions and gets you rooting for him. The ending might be a little unlikely, but Dickens certainly would have approved…


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Also about the end/confused vrf1
Extraordinary depiction of adoption world meagan312
question about story MrBlonde01
Why were so many of the orphans boys? RoseLuca
Why the change of heart? arynne
im confused..? marioz-1
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