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Little Odessa Movie Review

killer joshua james redgrave

After 1992's Reservoir Dogs, Tim Roth could have played a killer in his sleep. As hitman Joshua Shapira, he goes back to Brighton Beach (where he grew up) to kill his next target. The situation of a killer being sheltered within an American family was previously explored in 1943's Shadow of a Doubt, but in that film, the Merry Widow Killer returns to a bright, glistening home in Santa Rosa, California, filled with a mostly happy, mostly loving family whose sole problem seems to be an occasional twitch of small town boredom. In Little Odessa, Joshua faces father Arkady (Maximilian Schell) who hates his guts, mother Irina (Vanessa Redgrave) who is close to death, and kid brother Reuben (Edward Furlong) who loves him, in spite of the fact that he knows Joshua is rotten all the way down to the bone. For his first film, James Gray, 24, has written and directed a dark, unrelieved downer.

1994 (R) 98m/C Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Moira Kelly, Vanessa Redgrave, Maximilian Schell, Paul Guilfoyle, Natasha Andreichenko, David Vadim, Mina Bern, Boris McGiver, Mohammed Ghaffari, Michael Khumrov, Dmitry Preyers, David Ross, Ron Brice, Jace Kent, Marianna Lead, Gene Ruffini; D: James Gray; W: James Gray; C: Tom Richmond; M: Dana Sano. Nominations: Independent Spirit Awards ‘96: Best Actor (Roth), Best Cinematography, Best First Feature, Best Supporting Actress (Redgrave). VHS, LV, Closed Caption, DVD

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