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74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In his feature directorial debut, director Andrei Kravchuk addresses with intelligence and poignancy the urgent issue of illegal adoption in Russia, which has become a well-documented international crisis. The Italian is based on the true story of a small Russian boy abandoned in anIn his feature directorial debut, director Andrei Kravchuk addresses with intelligence and poignancy the urgent issue of illegal adoption in Russia, which has become a well-documented international crisis. The Italian is based on the true story of a small Russian boy abandoned in an orphanage who goes in search of his birth mother. (Sony Pictures Classics) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. 90
    It's a carefully and almost classically balanced combination of ingredients, blending dirty-faced realism (so much more damning because it judges and condemns no one) with mystical fable of quest and homecoming.
  2. Combining the influences of Italian neorealism with Dickensian melodrama, Andrei Kravchuk's simultaneously tough-minded and sentimental The Italian is as bracing as it is moving.
  3. I was utterly gripped by The Italian. The only problem is that I was rooting for the bad guys.
  4. Reviewed by: Jason Anderson
    75
    The Italian belongs in group of excellent recent Russian films -- most notably Andrei Zvyagintsev's "The Return" and Boris Khlebnikov and Aleksei Popogrebsky's "Roads to Koktebel" -- that have examined the effects of the country's woes on its youngest and most vulnerable citizens, as well as the problems faced by any child unfortunate enough to have faulty or absent parents. At its best, The Italian conveys this grave issue with admirable clarity and power.
  5. The result is a deeply moving experience, alternately funny and sad.
  6. The film flirts frequently with sentimentality, falling for it heedlessly at a couple of crucial junctures. Still, the overall style is more astringent than moist, and the hero is a little toughie of endearing tenderness.
  7. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    60
    Lured, perhaps, by the promise of international markets, Kravchuk instead opts for routine uplift, and once the heroic journey is set in motion, the rest is ballast.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. DavidG.
    Mar 8, 2007
    8
    A very touching movie, this tells the story of a young orphan, passed over by a family who has paid the corrupt head of the orphanage. For A very touching movie, this tells the story of a young orphan, passed over by a family who has paid the corrupt head of the orphanage. For once, a Russian movie that is not based on nationalistic fervour. Expand
  2. ChadS.
    Mar 9, 2007
    7
    There are two women in Kolya's life; Nataha(Polina Vorobieva) and Irka(Olga Shuvalova). Both are orphaned girls who were never adopted; There are two women in Kolya's life; Nataha(Polina Vorobieva) and Irka(Olga Shuvalova). Both are orphaned girls who were never adopted; the former is a young housefrau, and the latter is a whore. Nataha wants Vanya(Kolya Spiridonov) to leave with the Italian couple, but Irka believes it's more important to find his birth mother. "The Italian" asks the viewer to weigh the political against the personal. If you agree with Irka's decision to kidnap Vanya, their journey is deemed as a necessary one; an imperative to maintaining one's identity. Nataha, on the other hand, can be easily construed as the real hero, even though she's unseen once "The Italian" turns into a travelogue of bleak Russian landscapes. Nataha is a traitor of sorts, a benign cog in the machine that funnels kids out of the country, but she understands how ultra-leftist affect the welfare and potential happiness for a throwaway child. She understands that a child is not a national resource. At the end, Vanya's narration indicates what the filmmaker's beliefs are concerning the illegal adoption of Russian orphans in heartbreaking fashion. Expand

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