Sarah's Key (2010) - Drama, War

Hohum Score

9

Engaging

In modern-day Paris, a journalist finds her life becoming entwined with a young girl whose family was torn apart during the notorious Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in 1942.

IMDB: 7.5
Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Stars: Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance
Length: 111 Minutes
PG Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 9 out of 78 found boring (11.53%)

One-line Reviews (56)

Some were meaningful others just pointless.

Having usually seen Kristin Scott Thomas mostly in French movies (although she has done numerous English-languages films), she has always been a compelling character that merits special attention for both her outstanding acting ability and her thoroughly English name.

Even the actors' performances are bland, unimpressive, like the story.

This novel and film have found an intriguing way to tie us to the past, and to allow many many fine actors to shine.

At first this tale might strike you as both forced--the two narratives are very disjointed and separate, back and forth--and painfully familiar--another riveting, heart wrenching version of Jewish suffering and determination during the Holocaust.

The only weakness of the film for me was that it dragged a little towards the end.

Perhaps the most gripping scenes in 'Sarah's Key' involve the deportation of the Jews during the infamous Parisian roundup.

Fascinating movie with a provocative message .

In one more nation were Jews betrayed and herded off to concentration/extermination camps which alone should make us all pro-Israel today, but the premise of this film was so stupid, confusing, bewildering and on top of it, deluged with a cast of so many French-speaking characters that no one knew who from whom and after forty-five minutes, who cared?

Powerful scenes of deportation of French Jewry diminished by film's contrived central dramatic moment .

If you've watched it and enjoyed it, I strongly recommend you read the book.

Mostly it serves as a backdrop for a compelling story of human tragedy and the dangers of turning a blind eye to things that we know are wrong.

I mention that fascinating item of trivia because no one else will ever tell you.

 The other takes place in the present and tells the dull and uninteresting story of a journalist (Kristen Scott-Thomas) who is investigating Sarah's story for a magazine article.

Interestingly the films also share a similar plot in that a journalist seeks to uncover a story behind intriguing information about an unknown individual.

Scenes of confusion within the velodrome are horrid too watch as are the scenes of separation of parents and children in the camp.

A powerful and gripping drama set in both the time of the second world war 1942 and the years proceeding it, as well as the present day.

The narration alternates between scenes from the past and from the present, and one can't say this choice turned out to be quite pertinent because if/while the passages revolving around Sarah are relatively interesting, especially the beginning and the rafle du Vel d'Hiv in fact, Kristin Scott Thomas' investigation isn't at all, which induces an extremely bad dynamic because every scene somewhat interesting is followed by a rather boring one.

 No, because the holocaust story was so emotional and so compelling that we feel that the modern story is an intrusion.

You should see the film if you like quality acting, a moving gripping story based on truth and don't mind looking at subtitles.

Kristin Scott Thomas provides her standard performing excellence and the film's plot is indeed remarkably compelling.

The obsession of Julia is a fascinating one; trying to work out first how the flat became someone elses, to searching for some sign of what became of the young girl takes her her far and wide and she encounters an array of people including Sarah's son, who is clueless to his Mother's past.

This movie shows the French participation in the holocaust and it shows it with intense analysis of how it affected two women: Sarah a young girl who leaves her brother in a closet assuming she can come back to get him and a journalist who is researching the story years later and discovers how her own family was involved in war issues.

Sarah's Key is not perfect, for it tends to be more thriller than drama, the parallel stories of strong women are too balanced, and the ending leans toward the cliché and the sentimental.

It is intense.

OK movie; GRIPPING story; GREAT book (printed or audio) .

In a nutshell: it's worth watching.

Technical contributions are all excellent, from Francoise Dupertuis' production design, to Eric Perron's costumes, Max Richter's poignant and unobtrusive score, Pascal Ridao's evocative cinematography, and Herve Schneid's editing which fluidly moves between the different time frames.

A gripping moving film based on a piece of history I knew nothing about .

Although Sarah's (Melsuine Mayance) story, starting when she is 8 and locked her brother in a closet to keep him from being deported, is the stuff of fiction, the roundup is real as she is depicted losing her brother and parents in circumstances bizarre and mundane, the film being loaded with irony and paradox.

I walked in expecting a sickeningly sentimental film, yet walked out devastated and with a heavy heart.

'Sarah's Key' does have some affecting moments particularly in its scenes involving the deportation of French Jews, but the film's central dramatic moment is too contrived to be believable.

Compared to some of the nightmare scenes from the Velodrome and the internment camp, the present day sequences are trite, insignificant, and sometimes just silly.

However I must say that the story here was compelling and the performance of Kristin Scott Thomas was excellent as I have come to expect from her in other movies I have her seen her in.

This was a good break up as I thought the whole movie was going to be in the past, therefore I would have cried the whole time and would probably of walked out, as it would have been too much to bare.

Despite this the film is still very gripping with Kristin Scott Thomas putting on an astounding performance.

Without giving anything away, suffice it to say that this is an involving, engrossing, rich film that touches the heart on many levels.

Her everyday modern issues take away from the gravity of Sarah's tragic story and give the film a bit of a modern cinema cliché.

Riveting new Holocaust tale told through parallel construction .

The uninteresting part dominates the picture, it involves a modern-day journalist named Julia (Kristin Scott-Thomas) who begins investigating the Vel' d'Hiv roundup and wants to do a story for her magazine.

So I'm surprised to be brought to tears by its engrossing and passionate film adaptation.

Be warned that this is a very evocative and heart-rending film with a sad ending.

While it was a bit of a stretch to accept the whole idea that Julia, a person who had already been researching Holocaust history in her job as a journalist, was now directly connected to a horror story involving her husband's family's apartment, the horror story itself proves to be far more contrived.

The narrative in this film is simple, predictable and rather boring.

Mélusine Mayence gives a strong performance as the young Sarah and the main strand of the plot, set in 1942, is certainly engaging, but the secondary plot featuring KST as an investigative reporter seems contrived and condescending—as if we needed a framing tale about a contemporary woman and her contemporary problems to get us involved in a film about the Holocaust.

 Sadly, it is the uninteresting part that dominates and eventually takes over the film's third act.

The writer Tatiana De Rosnay has written a magnificent novel and Serge Joncour and Gilles Paquet- Brenner have written an engaging screenplay.

Two stories here, and only one is compelling.

Kept me on the edge of my seat.

" And so it was: many of the survivors could not live with their memories, ending by free will their unbearable life.

I felt that either the main story of the young Sarah's unflagging efforts to be back to check on her brother's safety or its extension into her later life as she vainly struggles to cope psychologically with her failure would each have made convincing and gripping movies.

When Scott-Thomas calls her daughter "Sweetie" or argues with her husband whether to abort her unexpected later-life pregnancy, it jars the sensibilities and if the director was trying to make a pro-life point by drawing on the inspiration of Sarah's life, it passed me by.

However, where the book was a compelling read, the movie was far less so.

 It is so heartbreaking and so compelling that I kept wishing that the whole movie had just focused on her story.

It is absolutly amazing, shameful and definitly engaging.

The fascinating story of Sarah and the routine story of Julia .