“SARAH’S KEY” = 9 ½

The movie is not for everyone. But if you’re drawn to the dark drama of Nazi-era films and the stories behind the scenes of struggle, fear and survival, don’t miss “Sarah’s Key.” This movie rivals the power of such films as “Schindler’s List” and “Sophie’s Choice.”

The story is set in two eras, one in 2009 where a woman journalist (played by Kristin Scott Thomas) becomes intrigued with the history of a Parisian apartment that holds deep secrets of the past. As she probes the happenings of 1942, when the French police rounded up some 10,000 Jews and sent them off to death camps, the viewer is riveted to flashbacks when a ten year-old girl and her parents are whisked away by Jew haters along with thousands of others wearing the yellow star. The child manages to hide her little brother in a secret compartment, which then becomes the focal point of the girl’s life.

Many emotionally disturbing scenes, reminiscent of past atrocity films will bring tears to the viewer’s heart as well as eyes. Ms. Thomas is perfect for her role, not only because she’s an accomplished actress, but speaks perfect French as well as English. The role of the little girl is deftly played by Melusine Mayance, showing acting skills on a par with the all-time greats among children. Kudos, also, to a fine director, Gilles Paquet-Brenner, who must have been mentored by the likes of Steven Spielberg.

Some of the film is in French, with subtitles, while much is also in English. It’s one of those pictures so intense, you don’t realize you are actually reading the dialogue.

Unfortunately, because this movie is devoid of animation, special effects, car crashes, flying bullets and super-human feats, it will probably flop at the box office.

But if you are drama junkie that appreciates fine film-making, don’t miss “Sarah’s Key.” It reeks of Oscar.

9 1/2 Stars (out of 10)

Click here: Sarah’s Key Trailer (Sarah’s Key: U.S. Trailer) – IMDb