MAY MOVIE - Fri May 6, 2011

Sarah's Key

Rated M
SARAH'S KEY is by French director GILLES PAQUET-BRENNER. The original title is ELLE S'APPELAIT SARAH.

Julia, KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, an American journalist married to a Frenchman and living with their teenaged daughter in Paris, becomes obsessed with the story of Sarah Starzynski, a Jewish girl who in July 1942, at the age of 10, was rounded by French police and, with her parents, confined with 13,000 others in a sweltering sports arena while waiting to be sent to concentration camps.

Sarah is particularly anguished because when the police came she locked her little brother in a secret cupboard in their apartment - the same apartment that, in 2009, Julia's husband is renovating.

Further comments

DAVID: Margaret, what did you think of this film?

MARGARET: David, do you know it's another one of those films like THE READER that looks at the horrific things that happened in World War II and the fact that those incidences reach beyond the generations to affect contemporary life. You cannot shake off stuff like that in a hurry. They reach down and touch you and this is a film that reminds you of that and I think it's got something very, very nice about it. Kristen Scott Thomas, managing that transition from American to French. She's really a fabulous performer in any language, with an accent.

DAVID: Yes. And the thing that surprised me about it, I expected to be moved on a certain level because the story of the Holocaust, of course, is an incredibly moving story but it moved me on levels I didn't expect in the modern story and I found that very effective. But I must say I have a feeling there's a little person somewhere in an office in Paris who changes the names of French films with really dumb English titles. The original title of this means "Her Name Was Sarah." What's wrong with that for an English title? I know Sarah has a key in the film but, why change it? He'd call CITIZEN KANE "The Man Who Wrote Newspapers" or something. I don't know.


DAVID: So annoying.

MARGARET: All right. Okay. Well, the little man is going to be very wary of you in future. He'll shape up. I'm giving this four stars.

DAVID: I'm giving it four, as well. I liked it very much.


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