Nazi-occupied Holland, 1945. In a snow-covered village, thirteen-year-old Michiel (Martijn Lakemeier) is drawn into the Resistance when he aids a wounded British paratrooper. Michiel's boyish sense of defiance and adventure soon turns to danger and desperation, as Michiel is forced to act without knowing whom to trust among the adults and townspeople around him. Wartime's harsh reality encroaches on childhood innocence as Michiel confronts good and evil, courage and duplicity, and his own burden of responsibility. Based on the bestselling novel by Jan Terlouw.
The gleaming snowy landscape of the Netherlands provides a stark backdrop to a gripping fusion of Nazi occupation and coming-of-age story. Michiel (Martijn Lakemeier), son of the mayor of a town occupied by the German army, gets into mild rebellious trouble--until he discovers a downed British pilot (Jamie Campbell Bower) hidden in the nearby woods. Rather than turn to his father (Raymond Thiry), who tries to placate the Nazis, Michiel seeks help from his uncle Ben (Yorick van Wageningen), who has ties to the Resistance… and in so doing, sets a tragic series of events in motion. Winter in Wartime
is a mild title for such a compelling, emotionally powerful movie, packed with several edge-of-your-seat suspense sequences, including one at the end that's downright Hitchcockian. The action is all the more compelling because it's grounded in well-realized characters, a clean and propulsive story, attention to the details of daily life, and outstanding performances from a uniformly strong cast. It's no surprise that Winter in Wartime
outgrossed international hits like Twilight
and The Dark Knight
in its home country. This is a marvelous movie that deserves to be just as popular abroad. --Bret Fetzer