Love, Antosha (Review) – The artistry, life and legacy of Anton Yelchin

When a young actor dies before their time, their memory can often find itself attached to the manner of their death. Rather than the talent, energy, spark and creativity of their short life. This obsession with the final moments of a public figure has haunted the memory of actors ranging from River Phoenix to Paul Walker and Heath Ledger. With the tragic loss of Anton Yelchin in 2016 from a random accident no different. A solitary jeep and gate erasing one of the brightest lights in modern film in a devastating moment. But Love, Antosha has no intention of dwelling on the tragedy of Anton’s death. Instead opting to rightly celebrate his creativity, talent, artistry and enthusiasm for film.

Director Garret Price brings us a heart felt and loving documentary that celebrates one of the finest young actors of a generation. A young man who was continually, and unfairly referred to as a rising star. Despite a body of work that echoed that of an acting legend at the tender age of only twenty-seven. Garret tells Anton’s story through friends, family, home video footage, diary readings and photography. Providing a kaleidoscope of emotion, love and honesty that embodies Anton’s life, energy and talent. Ultimately reflecting the character of a young man who transcended the label of a ‘Hollywood star’.

The only son of Russian figure skaters Irina and Viktor Yelchin, who left Russia due too rising anti-semitism in 1989. Anton (Antosha) immediately benefited from the better life his parents has sought in America. The pain of the families separation from their home country, coupled with the joy of being able to give their only son the freedom to create and achieve. And it wasn’t long before the energetic young Antosha found his love of art, creativity and acting. His passion and drive leading to acting lessons and eventual commercials and TV roles.

However, Antosha was a boy who thrived on learning, experimentation and art. With his passion for movies growing as he reached his teens. This transition into adulthood beautifully shown through the lens of home videos made with friends. And engaging monologues made in his bedroom, that echo a deep seated love of literature and art. This love of all things film, stretched far beyond acting. With Anton equally fascinated by direction, photography, music and the artistry of the filmmaking process. Something he would embrace through his own experimental photography in his early 20’s. But sitting alongside this passion was a deep secret, one that Anton himself did not know until his teens; his childhood diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis.

One can only imagine the effect this condition must have had on his vision of the world around him. As a chronic and incurable disease walked with him through every film set, every musical performance and every friendship. But his desire to experience and love the world around him, eclipsed the barriers of his illness. And although Love, Antosha never shy’s away from reflecting his darker moments. These are also bound up in a relentless desire to live, that shines with energy and love.

Over the course of his career Anton Yelchin appeared in 69 films and TV shows. His C.V. ranging from Taken and Star Trek to Hearts in Atlantis and Like Crazy. Ultimately leaving us with an extraordinary body of work. And while we may never know how his transition to directing would have worked with his own screenplay ‘Travis’. His artistry, life and legacy continue to inspire new generations of actors and filmmakers. And just like River Phoenix, his light and talent will continue to echo through the decades to come.

Directed By: Garret Price

Featuring:  Anton YelchinJ.J. AbramsSofia Boutella, John Cho, Willem Dafoe, Jodie Foster


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