7.5/10
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Elle s'appelait Sarah (2010)

PG-13 | | Drama, War | 22 July 2011 (USA)
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2:17 | Trailer

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In modern-day Paris, a journalist finds her life becoming entwined with a young girl whose family was torn apart during the notorious Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in 1942.

Writers:

Tatiana De Rosnay (novel), Serge Joncour (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Julia Jarmond
Mélusine Mayance ... Sarah
Niels Arestrup ... Jules Dufaure
Frédéric Pierrot ... Bertrand Tezac
Michel Duchaussoy ... Édouard Tezac
Dominique Frot ... Geneviève Dufaure
Natasha Mashkevich ... Mme Starzynski
Gisèle Casadesus ... Mamé
Aidan Quinn ... William Rainsferd
Sarah Ber Sarah Ber ... Rachel
Arben Bajraktaraj ... M. Starzynski
Karina Hin Karina Hin ... Zoé
James Gerard ... Mike Bambers
Joseph Rezwin Joseph Rezwin ... Joshua (as Joe Rezwin)
Kate Moran ... Alexandra
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Storyline

One of the darkest moments in French history occurred in 1942 Paris when French officials rounded up over 10,000 Jews and placed them in local camps. Eventually over 8,000 were sent off to German concentration camps. As 10-year old Sarah and her family are being arrested, she hides her younger brother in a closet. After realizing she will not be allowed to go home, Sarah does whatever she can to get back to her brother. In 2009, a journalist named Julia is on assignment to write a story on the deported Jews in 1942. When she moves into her father-in-law's childhood apartment, she realizes it once belonged to the Strazynski family, and their daughter Sarah. Written by Jeff Mellinger

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Uncover the mystery See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material including disturbing situations involving the Holocaust | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Spain] | See more »

Country:

France

Language:

French | English | Italian | German | Yiddish

Release Date:

22 July 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sarah's Key See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$115,708, 24 July 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,691,700, 4 December 2011

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,511,906, 28 August 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second of three movies about World War II that Kristin Scott Thomas starred in. The others are The English Patient (1996) and Suite Française (2014). See more »

Goofs

In the restaurant scene at the end, the Quinn character is seen with his hand over his face. Cut to the child standing in front of glass which reflects Quinn looking straight ahead. Cut back to Quinn with his hand over his face. See more »

Quotes

Julia Jarmond: And so I write this for you, My Sarah. With the hope that one day, when you're old enough, this story that lives with me, will live with you as well. When a story is told, it is not forgotten. It becomes something else, a memory of who we were; the hope of what we can become.
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Alternate Versions

The UK Blu-ray release has approx 9 minutes cut from the film compared to the French version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Favorite Films Based on Books (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Easy Swing
Written by Loren Wilfong
Performed by Loren Wilfong
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Starts with horrors and builds into inward, probing beauty
4 April 2012 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Sarah's Key (2010)

A two pronged film with a harrowing account of French anti-Semitism in World War II paralleling a contemporary account of a reporter discovering the details of one Jewish family destroyed by those events. Eventually the tales collide, and coincide, and another kind of meaning arises about accountability and acceptance.

At first this tale might strike you as both forced--the two narratives are very disjointed and separate, back and forth--and painfully familiar--another riveting, heart wrenching version of Jewish suffering and determination during the Holocaust. But stick with it, because it picks up complexity and nuance as it goes. Once you realize the roundup and mistreatment and eventual killing of the Jews is led in this case by French officials, you know this has a different kind of chill to it. And then you find that the contemporary story is literally connected to the 1940s story.

The leading actress in the 2010 thread, Kristin Scott Thomas, is one of those rare actresses who can command the screen with quiet brooding. She's convincing in a way that we identify with, and our sympathies are with her from the start. As she uncovers the facts of the past, and faces varying degrees of concern and indifference, she herself undergoes a transformation. This, by the end, is really what the story is about, the pertinence for our own times. The specific events around the title idea, the young girl's key, are horrifying to the point of being slightly sensationalist, but the rest of the movie is so studied and careful, you take it in stride.

In all I was surprised and eventually deeply moved by this movie. It's filmed with exquisite camera-work and is sharply edited. And most of all, director Gilles Paquet-Brenner gets the most from all the actors, from the children in the prison camp to the adults on all sides showing their human sides in restrained ways, without caricature.


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