Everything Is Illuminated (2005)
First-time director Liev Schreiber shows abundances of talent in bringing this quirky but highly emotional and historically aware story to the screen. Schreiber's direction is free-spirited and attentive, but it also has a strong sense of human psychology. At times, Everything Is Illuminated feels like Aki Kaurismäki co-directed - there is a patience involved in which the characters are given time to, seemingly reluctantly, let us get under their skin. And when we finally do, the film moves from its delightful comedy to the more sombre parts of this story. Boris Leskin's performance is powerful, and Elijah Wood at times shows his immense talent in an intriguing role.