This week a friend recommended and loaned me Everything is Illuminated ~ a most wonderfully "premium" film starring Elijah Wood as Jewish American collector of family memories, Jonathan Safran Foer. Jonathan travels to the Ukraine to find Augustine, a woman in a photograph Jonathan's grandmother has given him. Arriving in the Ukraine, Jonathan hires Alex and his "blind" grandfather to serve as tour guides and translators ~ Sammy Davis Jr. Junior, the grandfather's "deranged seeing-eye bitch" accompanies the men on their journey.
In addition to the humor (there are many laughs), I found this movie very enjoyable on many levels. The plot of the story is intriguing and slowly unravels during the film, which is beautifully shot on location in Prague. As a collector myself, I liked that the film offers a glimpse of why people collect things and what those collections can mean to others. I would love to get a closer look at the wall collection shown below!
Quirky, sweet and sad, the film also touches on family relationships, cultural differences, love, friendship and loss. The soundtrack is worth a listen as well. After seeing and enjoying the film, I am looking forward to reading the book it was adapted from.