Tonight I saw The Italian, starring the adorable Kolya Spridonov.
Dickensian is a proper way to describe the film, set in an icy, perpetually damp Russia.
The story follows six-year-old Vanya, who lives in a miserable orphanage and is about to be 'sold' to an Italian couple who wants to adopt him. Before he's taken, he encounters a desperate mother who has returned to his orphanage to claim her biological son only to find out he's already been adopted. Seeing how much this mother loved her boy, although she'd originally abandoned him, gives Vanya hope that his natural mother may also come back for him.
Thus begins the adventures of Vanya.
With help from older orphans, he sets out to find his biological mother and endures amazing obstacles along the way. Without giving anything away, I'll just say I teared up throughout the film. Spridonov's performance is magnificent and the supporting cast are so realistic you feel as if they're living out their existences now, even though the movie has ended.
Heartwrenching? Yes. But definitely worth a watch.