Everything is Illuminated

We watched Everything is Illuminated  last night.  It’s based on the book by the same title, and tells the story of Jonathan Safran Foer – a young man searching for the family that saved his grandfather during World War II, Alex – a Ukrainian that ends up acting partially as tour guide and translator, and Alex’s grandfather – who is really the tour guide.

The film is basically a road trip movie with two main plot lines. Jonathan’s search and the more interesting story about the grandfather. One of the things I liked particularly about this movie is that there is relatively limited dialog. It’s a great example of telling the story through cinematography. It’s one of the better movies I’ve seen recently with regard to cinematography. It also looked great in HD from HBO – not sure if this is upconverted or not, but it was good either way.

The movie wavers between drama and comedy during the first half. Eugene Hutz portrays Alex perfectly and his broken English makes for many comical scenes. I think the funniest part though is that the grandfather thinks he’s blind and has a dog named Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. who for part of the movie wears a shirt that has "official seeing eye bitch" handwritten on it. The shirt makes the dog more official.

If you haven’t yet seen this movie you should pick it up.