I'm getting pretty good at finding some top class films without me knowing it. Films such as Sideways, The Straight Story and Little Miss Sunshine were excellently put together and received rave reviews. The likes of Trees Lounge and The Station Agent were crackin' little films which should have received rave reviews, and as for this movie, Everything Is Illuminated, we have another similar type of film as the previously mentioned titles (clever, beautiful on the eye, great natural acting and top notch directing). I simply love films that take you on a journey and you don't know what's going to happen next.
I knew very little about this film. My mate lent it me and said, "if you like Sideways and Little Miss Sunshine, you'll enjoy this!"....and he wasn't wrong.
Elijah Wood reminded me of Daniel Radcliffe playing Harry Potter with a glimpse of Toby Maguire, and the Ukraine lad (Alex, I think his character was called) spoke just like Borat, but this didn't put me off in the slightest. Together with the grandfather and the comical pet dog, Sammy Davis Jr Jr, the four go on a journey across the Ukraine countryside (and how beautiful it seems to be) to trace the past of the American's family. It's not quite "Who do you think you are?" but we learn more as the puzzle slowly unravels. The subtle message of the jewish ordeal during the war, is fantastically put across from director Schreiber, and with the mixture of comedy, superb cinematography and wonderful musical score, this is a must watch, especially if you have a decent modern LCD/plasma where the colours are truly illuminated!