Friday, January 6, 2012
Elle s'appelait Sarah
Last night, Erinn and I rented the movie to one of our summer reads "Sarah's Key." I don't even know where to start with this one...wow, it was as powerful as the book. There's something to be said for letting it play out in the language for which it was intended (which I had not been expecting). I would say that more than half of the film is spoken in French (beautiful, Parisian French), with English subtitles for the unilinguals out there! Thank God Erinn and I both understood what was being said because when we did read the English subtitles, they were absolutely hysterical (Erinn, thought maybe they had been run through Google translate...sorry Google!) They often either made what was said in French come off as very harsh and abrupt, or didn't even make sense at all...as in missing words or jumbled sentences!
Anyway, back to the film, the characters were perfectly cast, with that of young Sarah Starzinski really stealing the show. Mélusine Mayance, the French actress who played this role, was incredibly passionate and believeable in every word she spoke or face she made. At such a young age, it was amazing to watch. Kristin Scott Thomas portrayed Julia exactly as I had imagined her when reading the book - somewhat annoying, moody, smug...and Bertrand played by Frédéric Pierrot was just as unlikeable as he was in the novel as well (however; Erinn and I were trying to remember whether or not he had an affair in the novel? It wasn't portrayed in the film).
It was as difficult to watch the history of the Vel d'Hiv roundup as it was to read, but we both commented on how it was done without going the gorry/gruesome route. We didn't always see what the characters saw, but their expressions and words were enough to draw tears and evoke sympathy. When Sarah finally returns to the appartment for her brother, it is a gut-wrenching scene without the need to show the corpse or what she discovered there.
Finally, a movie that did not disappoint (so long as your French is somewhat up-to-date!) BFab ladies, find some time to rent this one soon.