A young man hitchhikes through Central America until he is faced with crossing an 80-mile gigantic swamp called the Darien Gap. This comedy adventure from Brad Anderson was a Grand Jury Prize nominee at Sundance.
When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Americans abroad. Roy and Jessie finished a volunteer stint in China. He loves trains, so they go home via the Trans-Siberia Express. There are strains in the relationship, including her past. They meet Carlos, a Spaniard, traveling with Abby, a young American. Carlos keeps close to Jessie, and when Roy is left behind and waits a day for the next train so he can catch up, Jessie and Carlos take a trip into the dead of winter to photograph a ruined church. Carlos may be running drugs, so, later, when Roy catches up and introduces Jessie to his new pal, an English speaking Russian narcotics detective, he's the last person Jessie wants to see. Will the Siberian desolation be their undoing? Written by
The shots Jessie takes near the old church require a large telephoto lens (especially the one of the soaring eagle). Her camera, however, is mounted with a very short focal length lens than is incapable of taking said pictures. See more »
[about the Gulag]
If you want proof about America, you take a book. You want proof about Russia, take shovel. They're all buried here. Scientists, priests, poets. There is no God, and there is no Siberia.
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I had heard little about this film before watching it, apart from the cast that included the wonderful Ben Kingsley as well as Emily Mortimer and Woody Harrelson. Who each added a great depth to their respective characters making for compelling viewing. The blend of great actors and natural dialogue makes for an emotive and visceral experience.
Brad Anderson has made a well paced thriller that explores the vast emptiness and deprived parts of Russia, and at the same time in contrast capturing the beautiful scenic landscape, as the characters delve deeper into the twisting roads of the narrative. Other than The Machinist (2004) I was unfamiliar with his work but will probably lookout for upcoming features as he has shown great competency in both the writing and direction of this film. Balancing the dramatic aspects of the narrative with the overall film.
The most important thing to note is that it is an independently produced film, which means it is free from the constraints of the mainstream but unfortunately this may mean that it falls through the net as independent films are often unable to compete with the marketing capacity of studio productions. As a result this film will probably not receive a nation wide release across UK cinemas, which is a shame.
This film is great watch with a solid narrative structure and with honest performances from all actors involved, hopefully you'll find Transsiberian a worthwhile watch as I did.
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