Movie Review: Love, Antosha

You weren’t the only one who noticed that “Chekov” sounds like “jerk off.”

Love, Antosha

Rated R. Opens Friday at the Opera Plaza Cinema.

History tells us that actor Anton Yelchin died in 2016 at 27, an age often associated with hard living and drug-related deaths. But as related in Garret Price’s documentary Love, Antosha, Yelchin’s death was just bad luck involving a soon-to-be-recalled SUV at a time when his acting career was in full swing—he’d already appeared in over five dozen movie and television projects, and he was on the verge of directing his first feature film. As related by his friends, co-workers, and Russian-immigrant parents, Yelchin was no angel or paragon of clean living, but he was able to channel his self-destructive impulses into his art without the unpleasant side effect of destroying himself in the process, or becoming an unpleasant jerk. The often-ribald anecdotes related by people like Yelchin’s Star Trek co-stars Chris Pine and Simon Pegg don’t feel like violating his privacy so much as honoring his memory in the most celebratory way possible. The one element that doesn’t quite flow in Love, Antosha is Nicolas Cage reading Yelchin’s words, which is as jarring as Sam Jackson voicing James Baldwin in I Am Not Your Negro. On the other hand, Jennifer Lawrence telling a story from Yelchin’s spank-bank about an otherwise non-sexual encounter with Cindy Crawford is worth the price of admission.

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