Love, Antosha Review: A star taken too soon | Jewish International Film Festival Review | Jewish International Film Festival Review | SWITCH.




By Ashley Teresa
29th November 2019

On the 19th June 2016, Hollywood lost one of its brightest and most talented stars. In can what can only be described as the most freak of accidents, 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin was killed after being pinned to his mailbox by his Jeep when its faulty gear shift caused it to roll down his driveway. At the time, the news was simply unbelievable; Anton had always been the best part of any film I'd seen him in, such as the raw romance 'Like Crazy' and the nail-biting 'Green Room'. He was well on his way to building a long and exciting career in the film industry.

'Love, Antosha' is a documentary that seeks not to focus on the tragedy around his death, but in celebrating the life he led, which makes its ending feel even more unfair and devastating. From his parents leaving their careers as figure skaters in Russia to give their son a better life to his lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis to his frustrations within his own career, no facet of Anton's life is left unexplored by this touching documentary. The film is strung together by anecdotes from Anton's family and friends as well as his old cast and crewmates from various projects. Never once does the featuring of stars such as Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence feel thrown in for star power; the stories they have to tell about Anton show just how strong of an impact he had on those around him and how passionate he was about art, especially filmmaking.


The documentary really shines in its extensive use of footage of Anton. Clips from his filmography, interviews, personal home videos and even his diary entries paint a vivid picture of his desires and anxieties, his talents and inspirations. It was through this choice that the documentary really struck a chord with me, realising that Anton was not able to control the end of the story, and giving him posthumous control over his legacy instead.

'Love, Antosha' manages to capture the essence, cheek and love Anton Yelchin brought into the world.

The one aspect that did baffle me, however, was the choice of his once co-star Nicholas Cage to narrate Anton's diary entries. The deepness of Cage's voices feels rather ridiculous when it's placed in between footage of the much higher-pitched, softly spoken Anton. Given his iconic voice, it is awfully distracting when trying to imagine Anton penning these words himself.

'Love, Antosha' might not be the most elegantly made documentary ever, but it manages to capture the essence, cheek and love Anton Yelchin brought into the world, and the heartache of his passing. It may be a very long time before we see a talent like his grace the silver screen again.

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