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July 28, 2011 - Image 73

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-07-28

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BEST

LAMB CHOPS
IN TOWN

Dilemmas from page 45

RESTAURANT

ping them to Auschwitz. (This despi-
cable episode is a crucial part of the
subtext of another current French
release, the screwball comedy The
Names of Love, scheduled for an Aug.
26 release in Detroit.)
Sarah's Key imagines Sarah and her
parents were among the arrestees and,
furthermore, that the quick-thinking
girl concealed her little brother in
their apartment before the gendarmes
hustled them away.
Once it dawns on Sarah that his
fate is in her hands, she embarks on a
daunting mission that compels her to
depend on the kindness of strangers.
Now, it should be noted that some
neighbors lobbed anti-Semitic insults
as Jews were taken from their homes
while others took action (for or
against) on the basis of mercenary
self-interest.
It is the latter possibility that chills
Julia (Kristin Scott Thomas, working
in French and English), a Paris-based
American researching a magazine
story commemorating the 60th anni-
versary of the roundup. Incredibly, she
discovers that the apartment she and
her French husband are redecorating,
and which his family has long owned,
belonged to Sarah's family.
Did Julia's in-laws accidentally ben-
efit from the expulsion of Jews? Or,
horrible as it is to contemplate, were
they abettors and collaborators, pro-
pelled by hatred or opportunism?
This is a mystery fraught with
consequences, no doubt about it. But
once the secret is revealed, Julia's life
devolves into prosaic melodrama.
The usually remarkable Kristin

DINNER SPECIALS

STARTING AT $

AND SOUP

PARTY TRAYS AVAILABLE

Kristin Scott Thomas as Julia

Jarmond in Sarah's Key

Scott Thomas gives a pedestrian,
unmemorable performance, but it can't
be laid entirely at her feet. Its unavoid-
able that the stuff of Julia's life — a
self-absorbed husband, an unexpected
pregnancy — would seem trivial next
to the life-and-death dangers, traumas
and sorrows that buffet Sarah.
Ultimately, Sarah's Key has a third
goal: to leave viewers mulling what we
would do if our neighbors were hauled
away. Would we conceal and shelter
the innocent (at great personal risk),
or would we benefit from the spoils?
It's a useful question but not one
that will occupy most Jewish viewers
who, after all, will identify with Sarah
and her parents more than Julia's in-
laws.
It is that personal connection —
across the years and miles — that
makes Sarah's Key a moving and
worthwhile addition to the filmogra-
phy of the Holocaust. Li

Sarah's Key is scheduled to open
Friday, July 29, in Detroit-area
theaters. Check your local movie
listings.

rReceive

I 10%Off I I 10%Off I
I
Total.
Total.
Food Bill I I Food Bill

I

L

whose child she is carrying, awaits
her in New Zealand.
Both Frank and Ada are disap-
pointed they can't pursue their
mutual attraction, not least because
her mate turns out to be a cheap and
insensitive devoutly religious man.
The willfully independent Esther
also has a man waiting for her upon
arrival in Christchurch, but she's in
no rush to settle down with him. Her
first night in New Zealand is spent in
Frank's arms, an eyes-open tryst that
ends with his morning bus to the
country. But they are forever linked
in a way he'll never know.
Dutch director Ben Sombogaart,
who also helmed the soapy 2003
Jewish-themed drama Twin Sisters,
depicts mid-20th-century women with
unusual understanding and empathy.
The scene where Esther rejects her
fiance, who likewise lost his entire
family in the camps and imagines

their home and children will be a
manifestation of both Jewish tradition
and renewal, provides one of the most
powerful moments of the entire film.
But people are complicated, and
unexpected developments can com-
pel us to revise our most fervently
held attitudes. In just a few years,
Esther will surprise us with her
attachment to a menorah.
Bride Flight is populated by vivid,
likable characters who only want
the best for themselves and their
loved ones. Imbued with the attitude
that love and friendship can survive
decades, it's a generous and ulti-
mately gentle movie. I I

Bride Flight screens 7 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, July
29-30, and 2 and 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 31, at the Detroit
Film Theatre in the Detroit
Institute of Arts. $6.50-$7.50.
(313) 833-4005; tickets.dia.org .

PRIVATE

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rReceive

Dine-in only.
Not valid with Specials.
Not valid with any other offers.
With coupon. Expires 09/15/11
Excludes Lamb Chops

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Dine-in only.
Not valid with Specials.
Not valid with any other offers.
With coupon. Expires 09/15/11
Excludes Lamb Chops
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