Sarah's Key, 111 mins, 12A
Sunday 07 August 2011
Sometimes, two films about meteor strikes or Robin Hood go into production at once, but it's still strange to watch Sarah's Key only two months after The Round Up. Both are concerned with 16 and 17 July 1942, when 13,000 Jews were marched from their homes in Paris by the French police, and some scenes are so similar that they could be swapped from one film to the other without anyone batting an eyelid. But while The Round Up was content to inform us of these events, Sarah's Key uses them as the starting point of a much more ambitious, far-reaching story. At first the film's strength, ultimately it's the opposite.
One of its two heroines is a 10-year-old girl called Sarah (Mélusine Mayance) who locks her brother in a cupboard in the family home when the police come knocking. The trick works, and the boy isn't found, but Sarah soon realises that if she doesn't escape from her captors her brother will starve to death. Now, is it just me, or is that a bit sick? Aren't the historical facts dreadful enough without a phoney race against time?
Then there's a present-day strand about an American magazine journalist (Kristin Scott Thomas) who's researching an article on the round up when she discovers that her apartment in Paris has been in her husband's family since August 1942. Were her in-laws collaborators? How much did they know about their home's previous occupants? Scott Thomas's steely performance gives the film some dignity, but as she flits from Paris to New York to Florence (how many magazines would have the budget for that, these days?), we hear more and more about her husband and her unexpected pregnancy and less and less about the round up. The really striking thing about the Holocaust, according to Sarah's Key, is how ambivalent it makes an American reporter feel about her marriage, 70 years later.
Books And it is whizzpopping!
MusicThey're running their own restaurants
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
- 2 Australia to impose 24-hour curfew on all cats to protect endangered species
- 3 Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
- 4 Walter Palmer: Cecil the lion killer revealed to be American dentist
- 5 What TripAdvisor users think of 16 of the world's most popular landmarks
Conan O'Brien accused of stealing jokes from Twitter, could have to pay hundreds of thousands in damages
Child Genius: the Final, Channel 4 - TV review: Top marks to the child prodigies but mum and dad should take a bow too
Game of Thrones season 6: New toy line suggests Jon Snow is not among the dead
Game of Thrones season 6 set photos leak online
The Great British Bake Off 2015: Meet the 12 contestants
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband