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Sarah's Key (2011)

Kristin Scott Thomas , Niels Arestrup , Gilles Paquet-Brenner  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (276 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kristin Scott Thomas, Niels Arestrup, Melusine Mayance, Frederic Pierrot, Aidan Quinn
  • Directors: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: The Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (276 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004UXUUDA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,345 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sarah's Key" on IMDb

Special Features

The Making of Sarah’s Key

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas), an American journalist married to a Frenchman, is commissioned to write an article about the notorious Vel d’Hiv round up, which took place in Paris, in 1942. She stumbles upon a family secret which will link her forever to the destiny of a young Jewish girl, Sarah. Julia learns that the apartment she and her husband Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand’s family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers - especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive - the more she uncovers about Bertrand’s family, about France and, finally, herself.

Sarah’s Key is based on the book by Tatiana de Rosnay.

Amazon.com

An intrepid journalist brings the past to life in this gripping drama. An American based in Paris, Julia Jarmond (Tell No One's Kristin Scott Thomas) has been working on a piece about a French atrocity while planning to move into an apartment that belongs to her husband Bertrand's family. During the course of her research, she finds that 10-year-old Sarah Starzynski (Mélusine Mayance, a sparky presence) lived in the same Marais flat until 1942 when French authorities wrenched Jewish citizens from their homes during the notorious Vél d'Hiver Roundup (Julia's daughter is only a year older). Unbeknownst to anyone but her parents, Sarah locked up her 4-year-old brother in a hidden closet in hopes of returning to set him free him later, but the trio ends up in a transit camp en route to Auschwitz. Sarah will eventually escape, but the years to come will not be easy. In adapting Tatiana de Rosnay's novel, director Gilles Paquet-Brenner, the son of a deportee, moves back and forth between Sarah and Julia, who finds out she's pregnant in the midst of trips to Florence and New York, but Bertrand doesn't share her joy. A French farmer (A Prophet's Niels Arestrup) and a food writer (Aidan Quinn) also figure into Sarah's story, which merges with Julia's as she finds a way to carry on her legacy. Much as in Julie and Julia, the past proves more compelling than the present, though Scott Thomas holds the narrative together with the force of her talent. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
104 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and powerful! July 31, 2011
Format:DVD
The story of a 1942 Jewish family being evicted from their home in Paris and sent to a camp is interwoven with the plot of a modern-day reporter trying to determine what happened to the little girl in the family. Scenes of the fate of Jewish people at the time are always powerful to watch, with this one being no exception. The anguish of families being separated is realistically portrayed, but their eventual fate is not depicted. The story revolves around the little girl, Sarah, trying to determine the fate of her brother. The other story features the always good Kristin-Scott Thomas, doing a story on the eviction of Jews from Paris, and focusing on understanding the fate that befell Sarah. This is a powerful film that will captivate the viewer.
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81 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Movie of 2011 So Far. August 26, 2011
Format:Blu-ray
FILM RATING: 4 stars

The best movie I've seen in 2011 so far is Sarah's Key (2010). This French-English import is one of those little "sleeper" movies that totally surprises you and blows you away when you see it. Sarah's Key has a very emotional core to it that really looks into the human condition from multiple perspectives. And it searches for the "truth" within. This is a movie much in the vein of Schindler's List (1993), The Pianist (2002), The Reader (2008), and The English Patient (1996). It's not exactly "light" fare. But it's also not quite as dark as Schindler's List or The Pianist. I found the weaving of the two main story lines, one past and one present, to be perfect. It's not always easy for a filmmaker to pull together past and present set stories, with actors playing the same character at various ages, but director Gilles Paquet-Brenner found a way to do it brilliantly. And the same can be said for the way he weaves together both French and English languages into the movie. I never felt like I was "working" to follow the dialogue through reading subtitles. Granted, the movie is only partially subtitled. Parts of it are in English and parts are in French.

The story centers around the events of the French round-up of its own Jewish citizens in July 1942. That's right...the French, not the Germans. Of course I'm sure the French were feeling pressure from the Germans during the time. And yet it's hard to overlook the fact that the French were just as guilty of genocide as the Germans and Russians. One can truly understand why there was a "World" war at this time. Sarah's Key is simply sharing another piece of the puzzle that we've been reluctant to look at until recently because of how ugly the puzzle is.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
Part of the dangers inherent in adapting a wildly popular and beloved novel is that if you miss the mark, even in the slightest, you risk antagonizing a core audience that will be brutal in its appraisal. "Sarah's Key" is such a story. This adaptation of Tatiana De Rosnay's memorable bestseller, however, strikes the right balance which should appease both fans of the novel and new viewers alike. This is an impeccably mounted production that straddles contemporary drama with mysteries from the past. As the first half of the picture unfolded, I truly felt as if I were seeing one of the most effective and affecting films of the year. It is that good. Once a pivotal moment is reached in the story, however, the narrative momentum takes a sharp turn and the movie loses some of its dramatic imperative. Don't get me wrong, it's still a solid feature--but the first hour is so good, the second half pales a bit in comparison.

The plot drives you forward with the fascinating and harrowing story of a young girl named Sarah set amidst the round-up of Jews in 1942 France. Sarah's tale is intercut with modern sequences in which Kristin Scott Thomas plays a journalist about to inhabit an apartment once occupied by Sarah's family. Scott Thomas becomes intrigued by the history of the residence as her husband's family acquired the property late in 1942. This leads her to be obsessed in finding out the truth of the those that were forced to give up the apartment. While Scott Thomas is terrific, it is Sarah's tale that really resonates. Sent to the camps, divided from her family, desperate to find her brother--I was captivated, horrified, and excited by her journey. She is a great character leading the viewer on a devastating path.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Moment in French History December 14, 2011
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
.

A serious story of the French persecution of their Jewish citizens during WWII, Sarah's Key is an impelling tale of a young girl's struggle with her captivity and the consequences of her actions. Set in Paris in 1942 and 2009, The film switches back and forth between the 1940s and 2000s as the plot develops.

The story is told by an American journalist Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas) who in 2009 discovers that her French husband's family bought a dwelling that had been occupied by a Jewish family before the internment. Julia becomes fascinated with the history and resolves to discover the truth concerning the events of 1942.

The Jewish family Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski and their children are rounded up by the French police in 1942. The family lost all their possessions, them they were separated and sent to different work camps before being transported to Auschwitz.

Unlike many films about the Holocaust, Sarah's Key does not focus upon the death camps or the killing of thousands of Jews. Instead, this story is about Sarah who locks her little brother in a closet to protect him when the French police come to arrest her father. Unfortunately the police take her and her mother as well and sarah is unable to return home to release her brother from the closet. Sarah becomes focused upon escaping the police so she can rescue her brother.

The film does show some of the initial suffering of those Jews who are arrested by the French. There are several graphic scenes of police brutality and indifference of the general population to the plight of those captured.

Julia Jarmond Kristin Scott Thomas is excellent as Julia Jarmond, and Niels Arestrup is outstanding as the French farmer who aids Sarah.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
subtitles in both french and english how stupid
Published 1 day ago by Patricia Olchak
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved the book
Loved the book, and the movie was true to the book. A part of history that few people know about!
Published 1 day ago by kdm1510
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This was a gift for my teenage granddaughter who requested it and she loves it.
Published 5 days ago by B. Joseph
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a horrible, inhumane event that hardly anyone knows about
This movie was so moving. Such a horrible, inhumane event that hardly anyone knows about.
Published 6 days ago by Andrea Goody
5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah's Key, a must
Closely follows the book, which I also read. Characters are very believable. Was happy with this DVD.
Published 10 days ago by Deborah Zewe
5.0 out of 5 stars ... watch as it makes you think about all the terrible things people...
tough to watch as it makes you think about all the terrible things people did to each other
Published 11 days ago by Patrick DuBos
5.0 out of 5 stars Kristin Scott Thomas Is A Powerful Actress
A quiet movie that explores, on a personal level, France's cooperation with the Nazi's during World War II. It didn't get the popular or critical notice it deserved.
Published 12 days ago by golfer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful!
Published 12 days ago by Christian Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
ok as a movie
Published 27 days ago by clare parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed. Recommend
Published 1 month ago by P. Huggins
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