Search This Blog

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Zookeeper's Wife (2017)

As the Germans invade Poland in 1939, a zookeeper (Johan Heldenbergh) and his wife (Jessica Chastain) are devastated as their zoo is destroyed by Nazi bombs and the surviving animals slaughtered by the Germans. But they devise an elaborate plan to sneak Jews out of the Warsaw ghetto and hide them until "safe houses" can be found for them. Based on a true story as documented in the non-fiction book by Diane Ackerman. After SCHINDLER'S LIST, where can movies like this go? As directed by Niki Caro (WHALE RIDER), the film dutifully goes through its paces without much surprises. Rescuing Jews from the Nazis was a brave and noble thing to do but as cinema, it's all too familiar. Of course, it's impossible not to react emotionally to what we're seeing (if you can, I'm not sure I want to know you) but the movie paints itself into a corner. And it's difficult for the film to top the early scene of the bombing of the zoo and the slaughter of the animals. Fortunately, there's a strong central performance by Jessica Chastain who luckily resists the urge to go all Streep's SOPHIE'S CHOICE (Polish accent and all) on us and Daniel Bruhl gives his Nazi a shade more subtlety than is usual in such stock parts. A more than decent film but so deja vu

No comments:

Post a Comment