Sarah's Key review

A journalist with an interest in the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup (a mass arrest of Jews by the French in 1942) discovers she has a link to an elusive girl who escaped Nazi, and French, persecution and gradually unravels her story as she tries to track her down.

Kristin Scott Thomas is one of the less talked about actors who, when they star in a film, are reason enough to go and see it. Here, as expected, she is exceptional. However, although Sarah’s Key is considerably more worthy than her last film, it does not equal the stature of its leading lady and is substantially lifted by her rather than being complemented by her.

The story, and certainly the history in which it is set, is interesting enough and in many respects the film is well made, with a superb supporting cast. Fundamentally, though, it lacks an emotional punch it desperately needs. This is due largely to it being a little all over the place, with frequently weak causal events and an epilogue, of sorts, featuring the titular character’s son, uncomfortably bolted on to the end.

3 out of 5

12th Aug 2011 | Official site | On IMDb