In May 1944, a group of French servicewomen and resistance fighters are enlisted into the British Special Operations Executive commando group under the command of Louise Desfontaines and ... See full summary »
The poet Missak Manouchian leads a mixed bag of youngsters and immigrants in a clandestine battle against the Nazi occupation. Twenty-two men and one woman fighting for an ideal and for ... See full summary »
Near the end of World War II, 14-year-old Michiel becomes involved with the Resistance after coming to the aid of a wounded British soldier. With the conflict coming to an end, Michiel ... See full summary »
Yorick van Wageningen,
Jamie Campbell Bower
An investigation of the massacre of 24 men, women and children in Haditha, Iraq allegedly shot by 4 U.S. Marines in retaliation for the death of a U.S. Marine killed by a roadside bomb. The movie follows the story of the Marines of Kilo Company, an Iraqi family, and the insurgents who plant the roadside bomb.
The extraordinary true story of Oliver Woodward. It's 1916 and Woodward must tear himself from his new young love to go to the mud and carnage of the Western Front. Deep beneath the German ... See full summary »
Steve Le Marquand
In May 1944, a group of French servicewomen and resistance fighters are enlisted into the British Special Operations Executive commando group under the command of Louise Desfontaines and her brother Pierre. Their mission, to rescue a British army geologist caught reconnoitering the beaches at Normandy, and to kill a German SS colonel who is close to figuring out the imminent secret of D-Day, proves to be emotional and brutal. The story is inspired by the accomplishments of decorated SOE agent Lisé de Baissac. Written by
The film is "dedicated to the women who fought against Nazi barbarity". See more »
The film portrays events leading up to the events of D-Day, yet the aircraft parachuting the girls into France displays invasion stripes, which were painted onto aircraft at the time of the D-Day landings to ease recognition of Allied aircraft. See more »
An important and unique contribution to recent WWII films
Films abound regarding arguably the greatest tragedy of mankind--World War II--and so many focus on the heroic sacrifices of men. What makes "Les Femmes de L'ombre" shine is that it features the typically unsung contributors to the war effort--the heroines who shared the same audacity and love of country and liberty as the men.
Aside from its cast of four gorgeous French women (and an equally delightful Italian), it features a simple, but clever agenda--the actions of a cell of saboteurs and assassins working for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) in occupied France. There are no fantastic stories here--no plots to kill Hitler or to sabotage atomic research. Instead, the story narrows its focus to the extraordinary efforts to keep secret the particulars of the inevitable invasion of the European continent by the Allies. This is no small order, and there is much suffering in keeping what must remain secret.
The emotions in the film are well played by the actors and actresses. During the few brutal, but necessary scenes, the cries of anguish and pain are real and powerfully emotive. Louise (Sophie Marceau) is convincing as a vengeful widow who works alongside her dedicated brother, Pierre (Julien Boisselier). Jeanne (Julie Depardieu, daughter of the famous French actor Gerard Depardieu) plays a callous whore motivated at first by remission of her prison sentence, then by money, then by revenge. Gaëlle (Déborah François) portrays the naïve, religious girl who is seemingly the only true French patriot of the group. Maria (Maya Sansa) is a driven, Italian Jew whose family met its fate in a concentration camp. The most reluctant member is the lovely Suzy (Marie Gillain), whose questionable past allied her with the most unlikely of characters, Colonel Heindrich (Moritz Bleibtreu) of the Wehrmacht and the film's major antagonist. Unexpected support comes from local profiteer, Eddy (Vincent Rottiers), whose connection to Colonel Heindrich enables the saboteurs to get close to him to fulfill their mission.
If there's a noticeable weakness to the film, it is Bleibtreu cast as a Nazi colonel. He's neither evil nor intimidating. He lacks the sinister persona of Colonel Landa (Christoph Waltz) of "Inglourious Basterds," a decidedly less serious film of the genre. Where Colonel Heindrich should have been clever and cruel, his performance instead is wooden and uninspiring. Bleibtreu may be a little out of his realm in a role so serious.
Les Femmes de L'ombre is a solid contribution to the WWII films of the last decade. I hope it inspires more stories of the Resistance to be told with attention to the incredible sacrifices and dedication of normal people confronted with the horrors of Nazism.
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