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Everything Is Illuminated 2005 ***

Actor Liev Schreiber took the writing and directing jobs on this adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel, and did proficient work in bringing it to life. Elijah Wood plays Foer, a young Jewish man who sets out to find out the truth about his family by travelling to a remote Ukrainian village. His journey is fraught with difficulties, some caused and some solved by his relationship with Alex (Eugene Hutz, from the band Gogol Bordello). The contrast between the straight-laced Foer  and the track-suited Alex makes for great character comedy along the way, and leads to some thoughtful revelations on the nature of love and war, poignantly captured by Schreiber’s subtle direction and allowing the actors to defy stereotypes with their energetic, heartfelt performances.

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