Release Date: July 22, 2011
Genre: Historical Drama
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 111 minutes
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Director: Gilles Paguet-Brenner
Executive Producer: Gaetan Rousseau
Producer: Stéphane Marsil
Address Comments To:Bob and Harvey Weinstein
The Weinstein Company
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New York, NY 10014
Phone: (646) 862-3400
Fax: (917) 368-7000
In the movie, an American journalist, Julia Jarmond, working for a magazine in Paris in 2009 decides to write a story about the notorious roundup of Jews in Paris in 1942 by the Nazi-controlled puppet government. Most of the Jews wound up being gassed to death at Hitler’s Auschwitz concentration camp.
Julia and her husband Bertrand are about to move into an old apartment owned by his family. She learns that the family acquired the apartment one month after the family of Jews living there were rounded up by the French police. She resolves to find out the truth.
As Julia searches the Holocaust records, the movie shows what happened to the Starzynski family, especially 10-year-old Sarah, who’s separated from her parents. Sarah desperately tries to get back to the apartment. That’s because, when the police came to pick up the family, Sarah told her 4-year-old brother, Michel, to hide in a hidden locked closet. Now, Sarah’s trying to convince an older couple living outside Paris to help her get back there so she can unlock the closet door and save her brother.
These flashbacks show how Sarah tries to get back to the apartment to save Michel. Meanwhile, Julia discovers she’s pregnant again. Her husband doesn’t want the child because she’s had two miscarriages since their 12-year-old daughter was born and he doesn’t want to become an old father.
Will Julia choose life? Will Sarah get back to Paris and unlock the closet door to release her brother?
SARAH’S KEY is an emotionally powerful, exceptional movie. Kristin Scott Thomas gives an Oscar worthy performance as the journalist uncovering so many truths. She is superb, as is Mélusine Mayance as the young Sarah.
Terrible tragedies occur in SARAH’S KEY. And, the movie is not overtly religious. However, the powerful ending celebrates life, not death and tragedy. Also, as several people risk everything to help Sarah, the movie clearly stresses how important doing the right thing can be. Thus, the movie’s primary message seems to be, “Choose life.” That includes the movie’s abortion subplot.
There is some brief foul language in SARAH’S KEY, but the scenes about the Holocaust and about Sarah’s story are told in a restrained manner that shows filmmakers how to tell such stories in a non-graphic, but still powerful way. Still, some really sad tragedies occur in SARAH’S KEY, despite the inspiring, positive ending. MOVIEGUIDE® therefore advises caution.
SARAH’S KEY is an emotionally powerful, exceptional movie. Kristin Scott Thomas gives an Oscar worthy performance as the American female journalist. Terrible tragedies occur in SARAH’S KEY. And, the movie is not overtly religious. However, the powerful ending celebrates life, not death. Also, as several people risk everything to help Sarah, the story clearly stresses doing the right thing. SARAH’S KEY is an excellent movie for mature moviegoers.