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Little Odessa (1994)

R | | Crime, Drama | 19 May 1995 (USA)
Early 1990s drama about a family of Soviet Jews living in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach ocean-side neighborhood nicknamed Little Odessa.

Director:

James Gray

Writer:

James Gray

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4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Roth ... Joshua Shapira
Edward Furlong ... Reuben Shapira
Moira Kelly ... Alla Shustervich
Vanessa Redgrave ... Irina Shapira
Paul Guilfoyle ... Boris Volkoff
Natalya Andreychenko ... Natasha
Maximilian Schell ... Arkady Shapira
David Vadim ... Sasha
Mina Bern ... Grandma Tsilya
Boris McGiver ... Ivan
Mohammed Ghaffari Mohammed Ghaffari ... Pahlevi
Michael Khmurov ... Yuri
Dmitry Preyers Dmitry Preyers ... Victor
David Ross David Ross ... Anatoly
Ron Brice Ron Brice ... Man with One Leg
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Storyline

This film tells a bitter tale of a dysfunctional family. Joshua, a cold-blooded professional killer, returns to his Brighton Beach boyhood home for a "job." He knows it will be difficult to return to the Russian-immigrant community of his youth--in his eyes, we see anticipation of the inevitable emotional pain and psychic turmoil that seeing his forsaken family and estranged companions will bring him. To do his job, and try to maintain some semblence of sanity, he has had to wall off his humanity from even himself. Seeing his kid brother, who adores him, talking with his dying mother, who still loves him, and yes, arguing with his abusive father, begins to wreak havoc with his personal defenses. As his steely demeanor begins to dissolve, we are shown the soul of a hit-man crumbling away, piece by piece. Finally, all that he now allows himself to admit that he loves is agonizingly torn away from him and he is left with the ultimate punishment for his transgressions. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Brothers in blood. Partners in crime. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong shootings, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 May 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mala Odessa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,095,885
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film contains just 454 shots in about 92 minutes of action (i.e. excluding the credits). This equates to an average shot length of about 12 seconds. This is very long compared to the 3 - 6 second standard of most Hollywood films made in the 1990s. See more »

Goofs

The boom mic is visible in many scenes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joshua Shapira: It's done.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Opening Night of Close-Up (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Where is James Gray now?
19 June 2000 | by RJC-4See all my reviews

A stunning debut by this young writer-director -- Dostoyevskian themes, an exact sense of place, and a lyricism touched by few of his peers. And now six years' wait!

While most U.S. indie filmmakers spent the 1990s studiously copying Tarantino, Gray in this overlooked gem created something entirely different: a character study of tragedy among the unhip and uncool. Torn by illness and the return of a prodigal son, a Russian immigrant family in New York tries to outlast the omens promising its destruction. The film owes something to Coppola, but you might feel the presence of Bergman, too. Unsentimental, unsparing, with brilliant performances by the principal cast. A must see.


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