The Italian

2005, Drama, 1h 37m

93 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Poignant and unforgettable, The Italian stands out from other European melodramas. Like its extraordinary child lead, this Russian drama about an orphan's search for his birth mother is small in size and monumental in pathos. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Abandoned by his mother, 6-year-old Vanya (Kolya Spiridonov) lives in an orphanage run by a greedy woman (Mariya Kuznetsova) and her cruel lover (Nikolai Reutov). Vanya decides to run away and find his mother after a wealthy Italian couple offer to buy him and after observing that the older children in the home survive by stealing or prostitution. He faces many dangers on his journey, including the pair at the orphanage who tried to sell him.

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Critic Reviews for The Italian

Audience Reviews for The Italian

  • Mar 08, 2011
    A very touching story about the struggles of a six year old Russian orphan, who (after landing the ultimate placement for a Russian orphan - a nice couple from Italy) has an incredibly mature epiphany that prior to the move. What if his real mother comes for him after he is adopted? Does anyone know who his mother is? Is she still alive? This sets him on a quest to find out the truth about who he is and how he became an orphan in the first place. A quest that is clouded by a shady child broker who tells him he must be an idiot to not want to go to Italy and threatens to have him locked up in the "idiot hospital" if he refuses. What would you do? A happy adopted life in sunny Italy, or risk it all on the hopes of finding your real mother and staying in a rather bleak and cold Russia? The journey is harrowing but heartwarming and the results are touching.
    Robert C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 02, 2011
    Wonderful movie. The little boy in this film is really adorable, and an extremely convincing actor. The story is not melodramatic, or deliberately tear jerking, as many child "lead" films tend to be. There are a few difficult scenes, but the entire movie as a whole was very sweet...and left me in awe at the direction. It really warms my heart to watch real quality films....this one including.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2009
    The moral of the story is don't get lost in Russia, no one will help you. Okay, so the second act dragged a bit, but overall this is a strong cinematic effort. The six year old actor is really good and really adorable, and the director deserves credit for good storytelling.
    Richard F Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2008
    terrible ending, but the story was good the ending was just to sudden after all the wait
    Paul A Super Reviewer

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