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Everything Is Illuminated (2005)
A slow starter with a most powerful conclusion
This was an unexpected treasure. I happened on this film while watching HBO and something about it kept my interest despite moments of near tedium. I Couldn't tell if it was trying to be funny, serious or what.
By the time Jonathan (Wood) reached his destination, I was riveted and involved and very much moved. Wood's performance was stoic and at first annoying, but again, as the past was revealed, it made sense. The rest of the cast got it totally right. I salute Schreiber for making the film, for what must have been a labor of love, and for not risking a more formulaic approach.
All the elements came together - the music, the acting, the location - to create a beautiful testament to memory and honoring the past.
Capra Lives! This charmer stands up beautifully
Just saw Dave again after many years, and was impressed by how well it plays in 2006. The tale of a common man taking the place of the President of the USA may have seemed more appropriate to Clinton's time, but it's still full of satirical barbs that keep it contemporary.
The cast is flawless, and the direction is clean. Kevin Kline plays it earnestly and Sigourney Weaver is believable. Frank Langella is a perfect villain. Seeing all the real-life politicos and news-people still make it great fun. I found it very reminiscent of Mr. Smith goes to Washington with Kline doing a great modern Jimmy Stewart. Frank Capra would approve.