Americans abroad. Roy and Jessie finished a volunteer stint in China. He loves trains, so they go home via the Trans-Siberia Express. There are strains in the relationship, including her past. They meet Carlos, a Spaniard, traveling with Abby, a young American. Carlos keeps close to Jessie, and when Roy is left behind and waits a day for the next train so he can catch up, Jessie and Carlos take a trip into the dead of winter to photograph a ruined church. Carlos may be running drugs, so, later, when Roy catches up and introduces Jessie to his new pal, an English speaking Russian narcotics detective, he's the last person Jessie wants to see. Will the Siberian desolation be their undoing? Written by
When Emily Mortimer was approached about appearing in the film, she had only 24 hours to make a decision on the script. Not being familiar with Brad Anderson's previous works, she said yes immediately after reading the script. See more »
When Roy and Jessie take the train in China, it is shown to be moving along green trees in sunny summer days. In several minutes the train is already shown in a real winter landscape. See more »
[about the Gulag]
If you want proof about America, you take a book. You want proof about Russia, take shovel. They're all buried here. Scientists, priests, poets. There is no God, and there is no Siberia.
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I had heard little about this film before watching it, apart from the cast that included the wonderful Ben Kingsley as well as Emily Mortimer and Woody Harrelson. Who each added a great depth to their respective characters making for compelling viewing. The blend of great actors and natural dialogue makes for an emotive and visceral experience.
Brad Anderson has made a well paced thriller that explores the vast emptiness and deprived parts of Russia, and at the same time in contrast capturing the beautiful scenic landscape, as the characters delve deeper into the twisting roads of the narrative. Other than The Machinist (2004) I was unfamiliar with his work but will probably lookout for upcoming features as he has shown great competency in both the writing and direction of this film. Balancing the dramatic aspects of the narrative with the overall film.
The most important thing to note is that it is an independently produced film, which means it is free from the constraints of the mainstream but unfortunately this may mean that it falls through the net as independent films are often unable to compete with the marketing capacity of studio productions. As a result this film will probably not receive a nation wide release across UK cinemas, which is a shame.
This film is great watch with a solid narrative structure and with honest performances from all actors involved, hopefully you'll find Transsiberian a worthwhile watch as I did.
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