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|Everything Is Illuminated|
Everything Is Illuminated movie poster
|Directed by||Liev Schreiber|
|Produced by||Marc Turtletaub
Jonathan Safran Foer
|Music by||Paul Cantelon
|Editing by||Andrew Marcus
|Distributed by||Warner Independent Pictures|
|Release date(s)||September 16, 2005|
|Running time||106 mins.|
|Language||English, Russian, Ukrainian|
|Box office||$3,601,974 (worldwide)|
Everything Is Illuminated is a 2005 adventure/dramedy film, written and directed by Liev Schreiber and starring Elijah Wood and Eugene Hütz. It was adapted from the novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer, and was the debut film of Liev Schreiber both as a director and as a screenwriter.
Jonathan Foer, (played by Elijah Wood) a young American Jew, goes on a quest to find the woman, Augustina, sister of Lista (played by Laryssa Lauret), who saved his grandfather during the Holocaust in a small Ukrainian town called Trachimbrod that was wiped off the map when the Nazis liquidated Eastern European shtetls. His guides are a cranky, anti-semitic grandfather (played by Boris Leskin); his deranged Border collie named Sammy Davis Jr. Jr.; and his over-enthusiastic grandson, Alex (played by Eugene Hutz), whose fractured command of English, passion for American pop culture, and constant chatter threaten to make the worst of every situation. But what starts out as the tour from hell turns into a meaningful journey, with an unexpected series of revelations that will change all of their lives.
The score for Everything Is Illuminated features eight original tracks composed by Paul Cantelon, along with songs by Russian ska punk band Leningrad, Arkady Severny, Csókolom, Tin Hat Trio, and Gogol Bordello, whose lead singer plays Alex. The band members of Gogol Bordello play the band in the train station where the character Alex has come to meet his US client, Jonathan Foer. DeVotchKa's single "How It Ends" is featured in the trailer, but not in the official soundtrack.
- The subtitles translate the headstone as "Alexander Baruch Perchov", whereas the Russian reads "Aleksandr Barukh Perets". Presumably "Peretz" was the original family name.
- At one point, the Grandfather says "Take the Jew with you", while the subtitles read "Leave the Jew here".
- Alex and the Grandfather keep referring to Jonathan as "žid" ("жид"), which is translated in the subtitles as "Jew," but is actually more derogatory, closer to "Yid (From Yiddish)." Alex and his family speak Russian with occasional Odessite influence - Odessa being a mostly Russian speaking city in Ukraine.
Critical response 
American Chronicle recounted the film as one of the "rare films that encapsulate the emotion of discovery and drama with humor", while Time Out called it "an unbelievably assured debut as a director". Roger Ebert praised the film and gave it 3 and a half stars out of 4.
The film lost money at the box office, as the gross receipts never surpassed even the small budget of the production.
- 2005: Lanterna Magica Prize: Venice Film Festival: Liev Schreiber
- 2005: Biografilm Award: Venice Film Festival: Liev Schreiber
- 2005: Best Screenplay: São Paulo International Film Festival: Liev Schreiber
- Foer, Jonathan Safran (2002). Everything is illuminated: a novel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0-618-17387-0 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- Official website
- Everything Is Illuminated at the Internet Movie Database
- Everything Is Illuminated at AllRovi
- Everything Is Illuminated at Rotten Tomatoes
- Everything Is Illuminated at Metacritic
- Roger Ebert's review of Everything Is Illuminated
- Everything Is Illuminated at Box Office Mojo
- Laryssa Lauret - http://www.facebook.com/LaryssaLauret