The Italian
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An abandoned Russian child forsakes a life of luxury in the name of finding his true mother in director Andrei Kravchuk's affecting drama. Vanya is a six-year-old boy who is about to be adopted by a loving Italian couple, but this is a crucial moment in his life, and there are choices to be made. Will Vanya be content to simply spend his days basking in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun, or will his desire to know his true mother slowly eat away at him from the inside for the rest of his life? Though he eventually decides that in order to move on with his life he must first seek out his… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Andrei Kravchuk's film is sensitive to the hilt and pleasingly attuned to the guileless outlook of its hero."
‑ David Jenkins, Time Out
"At times, the difficulties that Vanya encounters strain credulity. The Italian doesn't bother to infuse its characters with complex motivations. They're either Bad or Good."
‑ Teresa Wiltz, Washington Post
"With a tensed brow, Kolya Spiridonov plays a boy perpetually hovering between anxiety and dogged determination, and the film walks the same line, unsure about where it's going but always moving forward regardless."
‑ Robert Davis, Paste Magazine
"An unsentimental and vividly characterized film which successfully combines melodrama and social analysis and features an impressive central performance from Spiridonov."
‑ Tom Dawson, Film4
"It's a touching film about a little boy with the determination of a champ."
‑ Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone,
"This 2005 story about a Russian boy whose mother has given him up may be derivative, but it's still engrossing, largely because of its appealing juvenile lead, Kolya Spiridonov."
‑ Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"The ending isn't exactly happily-ever-after, but it leaves you with a deep-down respect and affection for this determined little tyke who perseveres against all odds."
‑ Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Vividly characterised and convincingly acted (not least by Spiridonov), it makes for a fascinating portrait of a post-Communist society beset by crime and despair."
‑ Tom Dawson, Total Film
"Even when Kravchuck lets the story drift, the boy is a solid anchor."
‑ Stella Papamichael,
"It is hard-hitting, but with none of the fake, over-the-top violence of Hollywood fare, and packs an emotional punch without dredging it with sugar."
‑ Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
"This film is about many things, but the magic key that unlocks the treasure chest is literacy."
‑ Jonathan F. Richards,
"Wise, resilient children aren't especially new to the movies, but when they're presented this sensitively, they're always worth revisiting."
‑ John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press
"A stunningly powerful indictment of the weakest in thrall to a corrupt system."
‑ Tim Evans, Sky Movies
"Despite channeling Dickensian melodrama, first-time director Andrei Kravchuk skilfully avoids wallowing in sentimentality."
‑ Patrick Peters, Empire Magazine
"What really makes this potentially melodramatic story so powerful is the incredibly intense and focused presence of little Kolya Spiridonov, who makes you believe Vanya's determination and grit every step of the way."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
More reviews for The Italian on Rotten Tomatoes

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