Sarah’s Key (original title: Elle s’appelait Sarah) is an amazing French drama based on the even more amazing book by Tatiana de Rosnay. I really loved the book and the movie didn’t disappoint me either, but since it’s a while ago I read it this post will be only about the movie.
The movie is alternating between the past and the present and is about the Jewish Sarah Starzynski and the American journalist Julia. The little Sarah locks her brother up in a hidden closet to protect him of the police. She promises him she’ll come back for him but unfortunately she doesn’t know that she and her family are being deported from Paris to a camp. She holds onto the key of the closet and is determined to save her little brother. In the present Julia finds out that the house of her husbands family has a past: It once belonged to the Starzynski family. Julia is driven by curiosity and tracks Sarah down until she finally finds what she’d been looking for.
Like I said, the book is simply amazing. I’ll read it soon again and write a review about it. I’m always kinda scared that movies are gonna destroy the images I had in my head while reading a book. Surprisingly, Sarah’s Key did not. The first part of the movie I spent crying because I felt the fear and frustrations of the little girl. It’s just so intense. When the movie shifts to the present it isn’t all tears and drama. The story gets more and more exciting when Julia gets obsessed by Sarah and tries to track her down.
Movies about war are my weak point. It makes me so mad to see that so many innocent people got killed. I think this is a to-see movie, not only because it shows a little bit about the camps in France (not only the Germans did bad things) but also because it is a helluva story!
This movie is directed and co-written by Gilles Paquet-Brenner and produced by Stéphane Marsil. It came out in September 2010 on the Toronto International Film Festival and is starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance Niels Arestrup and Frédéric Pierrot.
I’d give this movie an 8 out of 10, because it shows the pain of the Jews in France during WWII while still entertaining the audience with a good drama movie.
What I didn’t like? The end! Just like in the book Julia is happy with the answers her search gave her and she’ll probably live happily ever after, just a little bit different than expected.