Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key

(Elle s'appelait Sarah)
(2010)

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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Flicks Review

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 Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 7 ratings, 7 reviews
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BY adeej 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.


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.


BY Diedi 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.


BY el_bad 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... More 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.Hide


BY apple nobody

There is something very assured about the film making here. It was an intense and rewarding watch. I'd go again.


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The Press Reviews

73% of critics recommend.
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The Talk
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