Set in 1930s Shanghai, where a blind American diplomat develops a curious relationship with a young Russian refugee who works odd -- and sometimes illicit -- jobs to support members of her dead husband's aristocratic family.
Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.
Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.
1939 is set between present-day London and the idyllic British countryside in the time before the beginning of the Second World War. At a time of uncertainty and high tension, the story revolves around the formidable Keyes family, who are keen to uphold and preserve their very traditional way of life. The eldest sibling Anne is a budding young actress who is in love with Foreign Office official Lawrence, but her seemingly perfect life begins to dramatically unravel when she stumbles across secret recordings of the pro-appeasement movement. While trying to discover the origin of these recordings, dark secrets are revealed which lead to the death of a great friend. As war breaks out Anne discovers the truth and flees to London to try to confirm her suspicions, but she is caught and imprisoned and only then does she finally begin to discover how badly she has been betrayed. Written by
I had the privilege of attending the world premiere of this film at the Toronto International Film Festival last night. It tells the story of the aristocratic Keyes family in the days leading up to the outbreak of WWII. The father played superbly by Bill Nighy is an influential MP and an all round "good egg" of a dad to his three children. The oldest daughter Ann, played by Romola Garai is an adopted child but seems to fit in perfectly with her younger siblings and is the life and soul of the family. The film starts as a classic English period piece with lavish settings in Norfolk and London involving picnics and parties. However, as war gets closer, dramatic and strange events involving the family and friends slowly change the mood of the film. Other reviewers have made comparisons to Hitchcock's films and I have to agree with them. I enjoyed the film but there were definitely a few situations that did not ring true. The ending was particularly clumsy and there were some strange scenes that just didn't seem to fit. At 130 minutes it was probably 20 minutes too long. There were good performances by Julie Christie as a batty aunt and Jeremy Northam as a sinister government official. A good watch if you like British mysteries
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