Winter in Wartime

Winter in Wartime


Dutch coming-of-age drama set during the final winter of World War II.... More

14-year-old Michiel (Martijn Lakemeier) spies a British plane going down in flames from his bedroom window and later discovers the wounded pilot (Sweeney Todd's Jamie Campbell Bower). Unsure of whom to trust, including his German co-operating father, Michiel decides to help the soldier himself and becomes a one-man Dutch resistance movement. But what starts out as a teenage boy's dream adventure soon becomes a lesson in the brutal realities of war.Hide

Flicks Review

There has recently been a steady influx of movies from Europe dealing with Nazi occupation during World War II. Whilst the majority have focused on national mythmaking and regional heroes, Winter in Wartime is more focussed on creating an exciting story. For this reason, it’s the pick of the bunch.

Having a vulnerable, adolescent protagonist creates a heightened sense of danger and the wartime setting provides an edge to his loss of innocence. The supporting roles change their nature in a way that seems impressively organic and natural.

The cold, European winter setting has enough specifics to give the action a sense of time and place but is general enough to function as a poetic backdrop. The final plot twist acts as the catalyst for an edge-of-your-seat finale, one of several exciting set pieces.

A massive success in its native Netherlands, this film is unlikely to repeat that popularity here but will be a treat for fans of war movies and intelligent, action-based filmmaking.

The Peoples' Reviews

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BY Weds_Loafers superstar

While a little one-dimensional this is, nonetheless, a satisfying movie which captures its period very well (one of our members is a 70-year-old Dutchman who was living in Holland at the time this movie is set). Some great acting and stunning winter scenery flesh the movie out.

The Press Reviews

74% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • This 2008 Dutch release was short-listed for last year's Best Foreign Language Academy Award. Full Review

  • Nothing new here but there are some strong performances and authentic period detail. Full Review

  • The film is at its best addressing the doomed compromises necessary for life under a brutal occupation, but fails to escape its origins as a children’s novel. Full Review

  • Overall the film seems more emotionally restrained and subdued than it could’ve gotten away with, but at the same time this understatement makes a refreshing change to the big bang wartime films we’re so used to seeing. Full Review

  • Dutch helmer Martin Koolhoven finds the perfect blend of classical cinema and arthouse sensitivities in WWII coming-of-ager "Winter in Wartime." Full Review