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
When Emily Mortimer was approached about appearing in this movie, she had only twenty-four hours to make a decision on the script. Not being familiar with co-Writer and Director Brad Anderson's previous works, she said yes immediately after reading the script. See more »
The English-language subtitles refer to one of the station stops as "Ulyanovsk." Ulyanovsk is a major city southeast of Moscow, not at all on the route of the Trans-Siberian railway. The correct name is "Ilanovskaya," seen on the hotel sign and on the travel brochure Carlos hands to Jessie. The error appears only in the subtitles, as the actors pronounce the name correctly. See more »
[to Roy, about him trying to get her to stop smoking]
Kill off all my demons, Roy, and my angels might die too.
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9 secs of cuts to shots of a knife being pressed into a leg wound were removed from the UK DVD release in order to achieve a 15 classification. Cuts were made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy. An uncut 18 was available. See more »
A different pace for a thriller vehicle with fresh talent
A thriller on the Trans-Siberian railway is not an everyday film premise and that is in part what makes "Transsiberian" interesting. It's not typical in any way unless you count the connection between murder and trains. That, and its cast is quality without seeking out big- hitting names and its director, Brad Anderson ("The Machinist") is a fairly understated one. The story of a married couple onboard the railway and encountering something over their heads is not full of devious twists and turns, but it's attention-getting.
Emily Mortimer and Woody Harrleson star as two married travelers who after going to China to do volunteer work through their church, decide to travel through Russia by train to make their trip a bid more adventurous. After all, we wouldn't have much of a film without them deciding to take the train. On board, they meet Carlos and Abby, a young couple whom they bond with, but who appear more and more suspicious as the film inches toward its first big event.
Not much more can be said without giving away large chunks of the suspenseful elements of the film. It's not bland, but the intrigue of this film is summed up into just a handful of moments. Ben Kingsley, however, has a dynamite supporting role as a Russian homicide/narcotics detective. His performance is crucial to the movie's entertainment value.
I would suspect a lot of people would be less than enamored with "Transsiberian" because it floats between suspenseful thriller and a drama about keeping secrets, telling lies and guilt. It's not pure entertainment, nor is profound with regards to the human condition. Expectation for one or the other is a recipe for not having much of a feeling about this film.
I, however, found the subtlety of Anderson's film a delightful change of pace and the characters played by Mortimer and Harrelson (and the performances they give) easy to sympathize with and unique. Anderson doesn't use any familiar clichés in creating suspense with his film. It just builds toward its few moments and with the help of what I felt was an equally effective score from Spanish composer Alfonso Vilallonga. "Transsiberian" is effective in rhythm and mood, not in plot twists and profundity.
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