Making up for lost time with Netflix!
This one focuses on Jan and Antonina Żabiński, proprietors of the Warsaw Zoo and their exploits in hiding Jews during WWII. Kicking off with the German invasion in Sept 1939, following through to eventual liberation by the Russian Army and the aftermath, it depicts how 300 people passed through the zoo on their way to freedom and how the Żabińskis managed to cover it all up, fooling the occupying German forces and in particular, one nasty supposed colleague who proves to be just as much of an a**hole as the other Germans.
Nicely shot period piece with excellent performances all round especially by American actress Jessica Chastain, in the role of the aforementioned wife. Doesn’t descend into brutality like some of its ilk and we’re left with a sense of gratified success which is heightened by the fact the Żabińskis only ever lost two of their guests and that was after they had left the zoo.
Well worth a look if you’re looking for something to stream on a winter’s night, 8/10
WWII piece centred around Marcel Marceau and his time with the French Resistance, smuggling Jewish orphans out of France. And all under the nose of one Klaus Barbie, the butcher of Lyon.
Now, this review carries a warning: the movie contains some of the most tense scenes I’ve ever seen on film. It is brutal in its depiction without being bloodthirsty and much is left to the imagination, yet there is an obvious and a sublime horror generated by the portrayal of atrocities carried out by Barbie against the Jewish population of Lyon.
Jesse Eisenberg is brilliant as the mime Marceau, and German actor Matthias Schweighofer suitably vicious in the Barbie role. Supporting cast are all well-appointed and nicely contribute to creating the intensity such a movie needs to adequately convey its concept and message.
Awesome cinematography as Marceau and kids trek through snow-covered forest by night with Barbie and his Nazis hot on their tail.
Ed Harris cameos as General Patton at both the opening and the close of proceedings to set scene and round off in style.
Only the third time I’ve done this but I’m slapping a 10/10 on this one.
I'm a movie nut from way back with my first ever being The Hallelujah Trail from 1964. Ever since being mesmerized by the giant screen, the darkness that went on forever & the infernally uncomfortable seats + having to stand for God Save the Queen, I've been enticed ever since to duck into a theatre whenever I can for a few hours of escapism. My favourite movie of all time is Schindler's List, one of only two movies I've ever cried in (the other was Bambi when I was 6!) & I'm a sucker for a damn good comedy; Dumb & Dumber, The Hangover & Death at a Funeral stand out. I'm also a musician and work in IT. I have 4 grandchildren who also seem to enjoy their movie excursions with grandad. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.