6.7/10
6,777
41 user 33 critic

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:

Between good and evil and heaven and hell is... 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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The building used for Mr Schell's mistress was 9701 Shore Road, also used in Saturday Night Fever (1977). See more »

Goofs

Obviously shot out of sequence because snow can be seen in some shots and not the next. 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

 
The prodigal son returns.
9 November 2008 | by lastliberalSee all my reviews

Writer/director James Gray's (We Own the Night) first film was critically acclaimed for it's cinematography and for performances by Vanessa Redgrave and Maximilian Schell. It is not an action film, even though the main character is a hit-man. It is a drama about family and shame.

Mr. Orange, Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, The Incredible Hulk) plays a son who has been disowned for bringing shame on the family by his behavior. He returns to Brighton Beach to do a job, and reunites with his family as his mother lays dying. He also reunited with Moira Kelly, much to the delight of movie viewers.

About the only one happy to see him was his younger brother Rueban, played by Edward Furlong (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Pecker). Well, mom was happy, but moms are always happy no matter how bad their children are - trust me on that.

Violence was at a minimum for a Russian Mafia/hit-man picture, and the focus was on the family. Maximilian Schell was excellent as the father that made piece just for a moment to allow Redgrave to see her son.

Gray's first film has nuance and subtlety not often seen in a film featuring the mafia.


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