Eden à l'Ouest (Eden Is West) (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Eden à l'Ouest (Eden Is West) (2009)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Eden à l'Ouest (Eden Is West) Photos

Movie Info

One man's dogged search for freedom and a better life leads him on a picaresque journey in this comedy-drama from celebrated filmmaker Costa-Gavras. Elias (Ricardo Scamarcio) is a young man from a nameless country in the Mediterranean who has tossed away his passport and paid a smuggler a handsome fee to be hidden inside a ship making its way to Europe. When immigration authorities stage a surprise inspection, Elias jumps ship along with a number of other unauthorized passengers, and hours later he washed up on the clothes-optional beach of a luxury resort on the Southern coast of France. Wearing tattered clothes amidst folks who wear designer originals when they bother to dress at all, dogged by hunger while guess nibble at lavish open buffets, and presumed to be a laborer by the few guests who pay attention to him, Elias is a stranger in a very strange land as he tries to avoid immigration police and survive in a place where he can't speak the local language. Elias stumbles into a brief affair with Christina (Juliane Köhler), a German tourist looking for kicks, but he fares better when he meets Nick Nickelby (Ulrich Tukur), a traveling magician who gives Elias a job as a temporary assistant and invites him to visit him in Paris. When Nickelby moves on, Elias decides to make his way to the fabled city, which is the beginning of a long and sometimes dangerous journey though class-conscious Europe. Eden à l'ouest (aka Eden Is West) was screened at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival only a few days after its world premiere, appropriately held in Paris.

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Cast

Anny Duperey
as The lady who offers a jacket to Elias
Juliane Köhler
as Christina
Tess Spentzos
as Nina's Friend
Kristen Ross
as Nina's Friend
Marisha Triantafillidou
as Director of Club
Mona Achache
as Mari Lou
Jean-Christophe Folly
as Singer/Musician
Ina Tsolakis
as Leonid's Wife
Vitalyk Field
as Leonid's son
David Lowe
as Fred, the American
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Critic Reviews for Eden à l'Ouest (Eden Is West)

All Critics (7)

A mediocre film.

Full Review… | March 8, 2014
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The tone of the film, despite some pretty hard living, remains warm with flashes of magic realism. This works against our expectations for this kind of road movie, and may seem too saccharine for some. I enjoyed the journey.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Costa-Gavras scores a few telling points -- about the callous crassness of privileged tourists, for example -- but whatever his intentions, the end product is essentially a rattling good yarn.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009
FILMINK (Australia)

The tension is always between Costa-Gavras's dark view of human nature and his main character's hopes for the future. It's an uneven battle, although the film has enough strong and thoughtful moments to make you wish it was better.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009
Sydney Morning Herald

The brightest, most-entertaining film of [Costas-Gavras'] illustrious career.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009
The Age (Australia)

Director Costa-Gavras takes his own story as a Greek immigrant living in Paris to inject a personal touch to the story in which handsome Riccardo Scamarcio's asylum seeker Elias finds nothing but the unexpected as he looks for a new life

Full Review… | August 17, 2009
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for Eden à l'Ouest (Eden Is West)

I loved this and I can't explain why!

Anastasia  Bartzoulianou
Anastasia Bartzoulianou

Super Reviewer

Review from blog-suckmyprettytoes: I knew from the film synopsis that Eden is West was to have some comic overtones, but I still didn't expect to enjoy it, I figured with all that talk of critically-acclaimed director, the film would be so full of deep meaning and subtext that I'd be itching for it to be over. Not so, actually it's completely engaging, maybe not from the first scene, but as soon as Elias (Riccardo Scamarcio) washes up on the shores of a nudist resort, the film stays on a lively pace. Elias is an immigrant who along with many other of his countrymen is trying to illegally come into a new country in search of work, a better life, a new life, adventure? We're never told his full motives, nor are we told his country of origin or where he lands, this vagueness is intentional. Writer/Director, Costa-Gavras explained during the post screening Q&A that he wanted to highlight the globalization of immigration; not as a throng of misbegotten people causing a problem for government, instead an individual story with a lighter tone. To obtain this lighter tone, Gavras created a character that is part lucky buffoon, part boyish charm, part quick-thinking escape artist and ALL sexy! He also sets this character on a quest, creating a road movie. Elias encounters all walks of life along this journey, some who treat him extremely well, some just the opposite. At times his treatment is based on the clothes he's found, stolen or been given, other times it's because he's in the right place at the right time allowing people to make assumptions in his favor. Now I look forward to viewing at least two other Costa-Gavras films: Z which received five Oscar nominations, including best picture in 1969 and Missing, starring Sissy Spacek and Jack Lemmon, which won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay in 1982. Next up for the French Film Series- La Cinematheque: OSS 117: Lost in Rio (OSS 117: Rio ne répond plus) (2009, France, 101 minutes, Director: Michel Hazanavicius) Thursday, November 12, 2009 Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut St. – 6:45 pm In French with English Subtitles Synopsis: The imagined love child of James Bond, Maxwell Smart and Austin Powers, Agent OSS 117 is the man who can save the world in this emensly popular and very funny spy spoof flick. Sent to Brazil to retrieve a microfilm containing the names of Frenchmen who assisted the Nazi regime, OSS 117 joins forces with sexy lieutenant Dolores to track down an underground group of escaped Nazis. Purchase Tickets in Advance or at the door.

Le Anne Lindsay
Le Anne Lindsay

Review from blog-suckmyprettytoes: I knew from the film synopsis that Eden is West was to have some comic overtones, but I still didn't expect to enjoy it, I figured with all that talk of critically-acclaimed director, the film would be so full of deep meaning and subtext that I'd be itching for it to be over. Not so, actually it's completely engaging, maybe not from the first scene, but as soon as Elias (Riccardo Scamarcio) washes up on the shores of a nudist resort, the film stays on a lively pace. Elias is an immigrant who along with many other of his countrymen is trying to illegally come into a new country in search of work, a better life, a new life, adventure? We're never told his full motives, nor are we told his country of origin or where he lands, this vagueness is intentional. Writer/Director, Costa-Gavras explained during the post screening Q&A that he wanted to highlight the globalization of immigration; not as a throng of misbegotten people causing a problem for government, instead an individual story with a lighter tone. To obtain this lighter tone, Gavras created a character that is part lucky buffoon, part boyish charm, part quick-thinking escape artist and ALL sexy! He also sets this character on a quest, creating a road movie. Elias encounters all walks of life along this journey, some who treat him extremely well, some just the opposite. At times his treatment is based on the clothes he's found, stolen or been given, other times it's because he's in the right place at the right time allowing people to make assumptions in his favor. Now I look forward to viewing at least two other Costa-Gavras films: Z which received five Oscar nominations, including best picture in 1969 and Missing, starring Sissy Spacek and Jack Lemmon, which won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay in 1982. Next up for the French Film Series- La Cinematheque: OSS 117: Lost in Rio (OSS 117: Rio ne répond plus) (2009, France, 101 minutes, Director: Michel Hazanavicius) Thursday, November 12, 2009 Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut St. – 6:45 pm In French with English Subtitles Synopsis: The imagined love child of James Bond, Maxwell Smart and Austin Powers, Agent OSS 117 is the man who can save the world in this emensly popular and very funny spy spoof flick. Sent to Brazil to retrieve a microfilm containing the names of Frenchmen who assisted the Nazi regime, OSS 117 joins forces with sexy lieutenant Dolores to track down an underground group of escaped Nazis. Purchase Tickets in Advance or at the door.

Le Anne Lindsay
Le Anne Lindsay

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