Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Everything about this subtly directed drama enhances its pathos and humor, especially an astonishing performance by Gorintin, a 90-something woman only a few years into her acting career.
  2. At turns funny, sweet, sad, trenchant and telling. It's a gem.
  3. The last minutes of the film are exhilarating, but its real triumph is in everything that precedes the ending--the relatively simple lives of the three women up to that point.
  4. 90
    The kind of small film -- morally ambiguous, graceful in its admission of imperfect knowledge, at once specific and universal -- that expands our understanding of the emotional economy of family life, with its ebb and flow of love and hostility, secrecy and egregious candor. You must see this film.
  5. If Otar is, finally, a mite thin and predictably structured, that takes little away from the filmmaker and her cast, who work hard at fashioning the most outlandish special effect of all: believable human life.
  6. Working with excellent site-specific music and this trio of exemplary -- and exceptionally well-cast -- actresses, director Bertuccelli does a superb job of touching just the right emotional notes in recounting the consequences of deception and the importance of family.
  7. Sustains a perfect balance of pathos, humor and a clear-headed realism. One tiny misstep, and it could have tumbled into an abyss of tears.
  8. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    The film is traditionally and effectively made; it also is superbly acted.
  9. A small film of surpassing beauty and sadness. Yet its bittersweet flavor isn't artificial, but rather the product of the slow ripening of character.
  10. Reviewed by: Allison Benedikt
    Though Bertuccelli's film orbits around a lie, the story is really less about deception and suspense than it is a moving portrait of female and familial bonds.
  11. 88
    What an amazing presence Gorintin has. Never mind her hunched back and white hair, she's no crone. She makes Eka needy for happiness but susceptible to heartbreak. It's a great performance, full of both joy and the quiet, disappointing parts of being alive that come with knowing change is part of life.
  12. 83
    This combination of fatalism, nostalgia and willfully naive optimism captures something essential in the Russian soul.
  13. Almost unbearably moving at times, Julie Betuccelli's simple but sublime debut feature presents a portrait of maternal love and female fortitude that will reduce the stoniest of viewers to tears.
  14. Reviewed by: Nick Dawson
    The relationship between Ada and Eka is beautifully written and utterly believable, while the film's central idea of compassionate deception allows Bertucelli to explore the nature of love, culminating in the film's masterful and deeply affecting ending.
  15. Before and after plot mechanics, a drama of family tension and warmth.
  16. 75
    Tells a story of conventional melodrama, and makes it extraordinary because of the acting.
  17. This sensitive drama will appeal to anyone who has strained against the confines of family - or basked happily in its comforts.
  18. 75
    The best actress currently on New York screens is Esther Gorintin, a 90-year-old Pole who provides the emotional center for Julie Bertucelli's delicate, bittersweet comedy-drama, Since Otar Left, which is set in Paris and Tbilisi.
  19. Shows how our family fictions sustain us, and how some truths are better left unspoken.
  20. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Bertuccelli's heartfelt film affords a unique peek into the hearts and minds of a generation who, after having been awakened from the lie they'd been living all their lives, must now face the aftermath of an entire nation's failure.
  21. 70
    Julie Bertucelli spends part of the film letting her characters worry whether they've made the right choice, but mostly contents herself with capturing a place where hard choices have become unavoidable. Though her decision to pace the film to Gorintin's old-lady rhythms sometimes kills the dramatic momentum, in the end it's time well spent.
  22. 70
    A trio of finely observant performances graces this quiet drama.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. OsG.
    Feb 24, 2007
    One of the most intimate and moving films I've seen. Beautifully fimed, fabulously real acting and I'm not ashamed to say it made me bawl.
  2. BobS.
    Aug 1, 2006
    Incredible writing and acting that nail raw emotional nerves in the viewer. Masterful acting that will hold you teetering in suspense on the Incredible writing and acting that nail raw emotional nerves in the viewer. Masterful acting that will hold you teetering in suspense on the verge of bawling. Full Review »
  3. EarlM.
    May 21, 2006
    A superb film above love and family. Esther Gorintin is a wonder as are the other 2 female leads. A do not miss film.