'Sarah's Key' is full of plot twists

Friday, November 4, 2011
Julien Bonet ~ The Weinstein Co.

A real-life tragedy of the Holocaust -- the rounding up of thousands of Parisian Jews at the Vel' d'Hiv velodrome in July 1942 for processing to the Nazi death camps -- forms the backdrop for this ponderous drama.

A present-day American-born journalist, Julia (Kristin Scott Thomas), tries to track the life of a little girl, Sarah (Melusine Mayance), who apparently survived the ordeal. In her reporting, she uncovers secrets involving her husband's family, who moved into Sarah's family's apartment after they were shipped off.

Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner (teaming with Serge Joncour to adapt Tatiana De Rosnay's novel) shifts uneasily from present to past, from Sarah's survival story to Julia's survivor's guilt. Scott Thomas' sharp performance cuts through much of the movie's heavy-handedness, but not enough to compensate for some thudding plot twists.

This review is from The Salt Lake Tribune. To continue reading, please visit sltrib.com.

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