Directed by Garret Price and produced by Drake Doremus (Like Crazy), Love, Antosha is a new documentary about the late actor Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Green Room). As both a tribute to a talent gone too soon and a portrait of the impact one person can have in such a short period of time, this is one of the most touching documentaries you will see all year.
Yelchin’s story is definitely bittersweet, as in his twenty-seven years, he was able to accomplish so much. From roles in big-budget blockbusters like Star Trek and Terminator: Salvation to turns in such critically-acclaimed indie darlings as Green Room and Only Lovers Left Alive, Yelchin had a career that is beyond admirable. However, due to a freak accident in 2016, he sadly lost his life.
The film focuses more on his life and career than his tragic death and is much better off for it. Much of the movie’s runtime is spent exploring the impact that Yelchin had on everyone he encountered and worked with and his extraordinary accomplishments. Interviews with his co-stars and directors do an excellent job of showing how talented he was and why he will be so sorely missed.
However, the film also introduces us to Yelchin on a more personal level, making the audience admire him not only for the phenomenal actor that he was but also for the merits of his character. At a young age, Yelchin was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a respiratory disease that can be extremely problematic. Yet despite this, Yelchin kept working and had a smile on his face. It is truly touching and inspiring to see the perseverance he had despite the obstacles he faced.
Of course, the movie is difficult to watch, particularly if you are a fan of Yelchin’s work, because you know that his story ends tragically. There is definitely an air of “this is what we lost” to the film, and it is definitely quite heavy-hearted. However, the movie (the interviews with Yelchin’s family in particular) reminds us to take joy in the art that Yelchin left behind.
Additionally, the filmmakers clearly wanted us to learn from Yelchin’s story. Messages that particularly stood out include perseverance and the love for one another. The stories that are told about Yelchin’s ability to single-handedly brighten up a room and make a small part of the world a better place are some of the most impactful and moving in the film.
On a technical level, the movie is very strong. Price does an excellent job of telling the story in a way that is both entertaining and meaningful. He uses a combination of interviews, clips from Yelchin’s work, and home movies shot by Yelchin and his family to convey the information and its message. The execution isn’t groundbreaking, but it is effective.
Love, Antosha is an absolutely wonderful documentary. If you are a fan of Anton Yelchin’s work, this is obviously a film you will not want to miss, but even if you aren’t yet familiar with his work, still give this a chance — you won’t regret it.
Love, Antosha opens in theaters on August 2.