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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

335. Sarah&Key (Elle s&appelait Sarah)


    Mrs W and I have long since learned that a Friday night at the flix means multiplex avoidance.
    And so it was tonight, when we hit screen 2 of the fab Broadway cinema in Nottingham to see the wonderfully versatile Kristin Scott Thomas in stirring form.
    Scott Thomas, just at home speaking French as English, plays an American journalist who lives with hubby and daughter in Paris.
    She is researching possibly the most shameful episode in French history - the capture of thousands of Jews in the second world war in preparation for deportation to extermination camps.
    Ring a bell? Yes, only a month or so ago, I reviewed The Round Up which addressed exactly the same subject.
    Here, director Gilles Pacquet-Brenner combines the modern-day story of the journalist which dovetails with flashbacks to the story of a girl who was taken from her home with her family in 1942.
    Sarah, the youngster in question, had locked her younger brother in a closet in their home, promising him that she would come back to save him.
    Obviously, she had no idea what was in  store for her and her parents.
    Scott Thomas's character Julia comes across the Sarah story during her research. She becomes so involved in it that it has far-reaching consequences for her own family.
    Pacquet-Brenner's sequences around the imprisoning of the Jews in the Paris velodrome and, in particular, the  later, very distressing split of parents and their young, are more graphic than in The Round Up.
    They are also much briefer, however.
    Instead he hones in on the desperation, both of Sarah, splendidly portrayed by young Melusine Mayance and Julia, for completely different reasons.
    And it is warming to see that the doggedness of the journalist ties up loose ends although Pacquet-Brenner sensibly avoids a Hollywood finale.
    So our Friday night expedition, the busy Broadway audience didn't make a peep throughout and Sarah's Key wins an 8/10 rating.

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335. Sarah&Key (Elle s&appelait Sarah)


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