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Sarah's Key, Movie

Sarah's Key (Elle s'appelait Sarah) 2010

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French drama starring the prolific Kristin Scott Thomas as a present day, American journalist investigating the story of a young Jewish girl who experiences the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in Nazi occupied France, 1942. More

Adaptation of the novel Elle s'appelait Sarah by Tatiana De Rosnay. Hide

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40 votes / 11 comments The Talk

  • 77 %

    Want to See it

    What say you?

    • Penny Daley

      god this was awful. can i get my 3 hours back please?

    • Ken-Burns

      Looks like a great rainy sunday afternoon watch

    • Peter Webster

      Great cinematography but plot could have been abbreviated, instead of laboriously following every page of the novel.

    • Rebecca

      Where do i start?? This one was awful.

    • Doug

      Totally engrossing and brilliantly acted and ultimately very satisfying.

    • Rick

      Absolute rubbish

    • Mart Le Blanc

      A bit long but hardly "absolute rubbish"! An important episode in the history of France.

    • Filmfan

      Excellently done all round. Only the shallow and profoundly ignorant could fail to understance its importance.

    • Nikki

      Brilliantly written and acted. The film moves easily between the present day and WWII scenes. Take your tissues!

    • Paul

      This is a fantastically acted movie and supports the fact we as humans should never let this happen again, a must see.

    • Sarah

      The film was great. Fantastic actors. Very sad film.

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Flicks.co.nz Review

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  • Julia

    Like your reviews, but hope you won't mind me mentioning there are 2 words with different spelling and meaning: complement and compliment.

comment / reply
Andreas Heinemann Flicks Writer

Whilst the initial phases hint at a conventional holocaust drama, albeit one with the twist of a complicit Vichy France cast as the bad guys as opposed to Nazis, this film, like its journalist lead character, burrows deeper into the material at hand. Throughout the running time, it branches out to be not only a period piece but also a tale about the inescapable weight of history set many years later. More

This is primarily achieved through the film’s well-constructed flashback narrative. It deftly switches between World War II and the modern day with carefully placed transition points, allowing the storylines to compliment and inform each other thematically. Wisely, the segments are kept to bite sized pieces so the pace of the plot remains brisk. Differences are highlighted too; subtly different visual styles are in operation as well as switches in language. This isn’t as rigid or schematic as it sounds, however, and the opportunity for a creative image is never wasted.

The final act is played straighter, with catharsis the focal point. Kristin Scott Thomas, who might be the best actress no one ever talks about, adds so many interesting touches to her performance that it remains involving and the film succeeds as a history lesson rooted in human experience. Hide

The People's Reviews

Rating:

7 ratings and 7 reviews

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  • tim

    when you learn some basic grammar and how to read and write maybe someone will take your reviews seriously

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Sara's key

Lilly Nobody (?)

An other second world war - drama, but poorer than ever!
The plot development lacks logic, The journalist who is investigating the destiny of the Jewish deported family -is acting as if she's remembering- flash backs of the childhood- for almost half of the movie , - when she is compltely disconnected from the story...
The movie is pointless, though the actors try to give some credibility to a poor directed movie, poor script, poor plot.

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  • Shaza

    Agree, highly recommended viewing, very intense, great acting.

  • David

    Wholeheartedly agree. Kristin's a very good actor. The film itself is a classic

comment / reply

Sarah's Key

Beano Nobody (?)

Poignant and powerful story. Kristin Scott Thomas provides an emotional and touching character in another strong performance. The film shifts easily between the current and the past providing a gripping, moving and well-linked storyline. An excellent film. Recommended.

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Go and see it before it stops showing.

el_bad B-Grader (?)

Sarah's Key exceeded my expectations. It was an absorbing, rich and detailed film, which expertly and seamlessly combined the two stories of its lead protagonists, Sarah and Julia.
Kristin Scott Thomas is brilliant as Julia, who seems to struggle more with the past that she slowly uncovers than with her own personal issues. I was made to consider: which problem is closer to home?
I also liked Melusine Mayance, who plays the young Sarah. She acts with a maturity than seems to be beyond her years, possessing a character who is forced to grown up fast very well.
The image of the bleeding hand and the barbed wire was a good metaphor, and the following shot of the two children running through the long grass was a lovely evocation of freedom.
This film avoids excessive sentimentality, which is no mean feat given the subject matter of Sarah and Julia's stories. I'm really glad I made the decision to go and see it.

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So so

Diedi Flicks Superstar (?)

Well done and needed to be told but this will be the last holocaust movie for me. The modern day lives a bit cheesy.

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Superb

MovieTuesdays Nobody (?)

Loved it... Scott-Thomas is so at home in these roles. Her flow between French and English is comfortable without trying to 'pretend' she is French. The film was shocking yet intriguing. I very much enjoyed it.

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Moving film based on a piece of history I knew nothing of

adeej Flicks Superstar (?)

I knew nothing of the story that forms the basis of this moving story. The film portrayed lots of raw emotion and the acting was excellent - especially the young Sarah and Kristen Scott Thomas's role. I'm not giving it 5 stars because the film did drag a little twards the end, but I'm still really glad that I saw it.

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Press Reviews

73% of critics recommend

Consensus: "Sarah's Key is an absorbing, impeccably-acted Holocaust drama with minor plot issues."

ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE. Read more reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
Empire (Australia)

Gripping, emotional and utterly enthralling. Kristen Scott Thomas is amazing, as always. Full review.

Otago Daily Times (Mark Orton)

Narrative licence well used... Full review.

Sydney Morning Herald

Sarah's Key lurches towards some of these pitfalls but it is a skillful and powerful piece of storytelling nonetheless. Full review.

TVNZ (Darren Bevan)

Based on Tatiana de Rosnay's best selling novel, Scott Thomas stars as American journalist Julia Jarmond. Full review.