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Sarah's Key [DVD]

Kristin Scott Thomas , Mélusine Mayance , Gilles Paquet-Brenner    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
Price: £5.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup
  • Directors: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Nov 2011
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00505QAP4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,201 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



An intrepid journalist brings the past to life in this gripping drama. An American based in Paris, Julia Jarmond (Tell No One's Kristin Scott Thomas) has been working on a piece about a French atrocity while planning to move into an apartment that belongs to her husband Bertrand's family. During the course of her research, she finds that 10-year-old Sarah Starzynski (Mélusine Mayance, a sparky presence) lived in the same Marais flat until 1942 when French authorities wrenched Jewish citizens from their homes during the notorious Vél d'Hiver Roundup (Julia's daughter is only a year older). Unbeknownst to anyone but her parents, Sarah locked up her 4-year-old brother in a hidden closet in hopes of returning to set him free him later, but the trio ends up in a transit camp en route to Auschwitz. Sarah will eventually escape, but the years to come will not be easy. In adapting Tatiana de Rosnay's novel, director Gilles Paquet-Brenner, the son of a deportee, moves back and forth between Sarah and Julia, who finds out she's pregnant in the midst of trips to Florence and New York, but Bertrand doesn't share her joy. A French farmer (A Prophet's Niels Arestrup) and a food writer (Aidan Quinn) also figure into Sarah's story, which merges with Julia's as she finds a way to carry on her legacy. Much as in Julie and Julia, the past proves more compelling than the present, though Scott Thomas holds the narrative together with the force of her talent. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Oscar® nominee Kristin Scott Thomas (I’ve Loved You So Long, The English Patient) stuns in this incredibly moving drama.

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten-year old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard – their secret hiding place – and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released. Sixty seven years later: Sarah’s story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond (Scott Thomas), an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her family’s future.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitively handled film about a dreadful time 5 Dec 2011
By Lady Fancifull TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I haven't read the book from which this film was adapted, so am purely assessing my reaction to the movie itself. Based around a 'hidden' piece of French history - the infamous events of July 1942 in Paris, the Vel d'Hiv round-up and processing of Jews to the camps, carried out not by the Germans, but the French themselves, the film is interesting in that it abjures easy black and white conclusions. The central character, an American journalist in the present day, married to a Frenchman, and resident in Paris, replies to a young American colleague's condemnation of those war-time Parisians 'And what would you have done at that time?' - recognising that the real horror is how the possibility for evil acts belongs not 'out there' but is latent in each of us. The star of this film,the bank-roller, is Kristin Scott-Thomas, and she is magnificent - but each of the actors, whether English or French speaking, delivers truthful, intense and interesting performances.

Part of the challenge and fascination of the movie lies in the constant shifting time-scale, from 1940's Paris to 60 years later, where Scott-Thomas's character, with moral decisions of her own to face, gets drawn into an investigation from the past, the events of which impinge directly on her life in present day, as her husband's family flat was 'acquired' after the expulsion of the Jews. The sense of rugs being pulled from under feet, the insecurity of the present, and how the past and the present are tied to each other - and yet strange to each other, is intensified by the two-languages of the movie - partly in English, partly in French, so there is always the sense of Scott-Thomas trying to straddle the divides of language and culture, to communicate across time and space.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This sensitive film deals with on of the most infamous episodes of the occupation of France, the Vel' d'Hiv. In 1942 the French police, co-operating with the invader, rounded up the Jews living in Paris and for 5 days incarcerated them in the velodrome d'hiver, before carting them off to concentration camps. Some 7500 people were in the velodrome, in stifling heat, no sanitation facilities and virtually no food and water.

The film centres on a modern day American journalist (Scott Thomas) who is happily married into a French family. She starts to research the incident for a magazine article, and finds many things that have a personal cost for her.

Her search centres on the story of one particular family with whom she finds she has some connection. In particular she is interested in Sarah, the young daughter of the family. In flashback we see Sarah's story, as she desperately struggles to find a way out of the situation and fulfil a promise made to her young brother.

As she uncovers more of Sarah's story, we are shown the horror of what the Parisien Jews experienced, and she discovers things that have a profound impact on her own life.

It's all too easy to be heavy handed with such a film, leaving the viewer horrified. But this film is more sensitively done, and while not shying away from the horror of what was done it offers hope and shows the best of human nature as well, in the form of the people who help Sarah. Her story is not as simple as you at first expect, and as the journalists quest nears it's end it leads to some very surprising revelations about Sarah, and a surprising outcome for the journalist. It's moving, and shocking in places, but not harrowing like some. There is a lightnessof touch abut the directing that gets it's messages across without forcing them down the throat. Well acted, well scripted, thoughtful and intelligent, this is a very good film that I would not hesitate to recommend.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An experience 14 Sep 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I lived through the times in this movie, and would have been about the same age as Sarah, but we were unaware of what was happening in France, and even after the war I never knew how much the french police cooperated with their conquerers. I saw this movie because I feel i can rely on the choices of Kristin Scott Thomas. She very rarely disapoints. I found the movie very harrowing, but also imformative. Normally I dislike the going back and forwards in time in movies, but here I welcomed the relief. It held my interest right through, and was so pleased for the happy ending. I got so interested in the subject I purchased the DVD of THE ROUND UP, which is very good, although SARAH'S KEY is more personal, you reaaly get to care for little Sarah, and you also admire her determination to save her even smaller brother. The movie lived with me for days after seeing it. I know how people say " It's not as good as the book!" But reading a book you imagine how the charcters will look, also a book can go into more detail, so readers are going to be disapointed in any movie. I did not read the book and found the movie to be an experience! And isn't that what the author intended? I have already pre ordered the DVD on Amazon
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful film 16 Aug 2011
Have just seen this film after reading the book. It lived up to my expectations. It was beautifully and sensitively filmed and very harrowing at times, It was very true to the book. To criticise it because it is in sub titles beggars belief. The book is a translation from French so naturally the characters would speak French.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Sufficient
Nothing of exceptional, there are many other better films treating the same matter: the Shoah.
It is a little bit slow in developing the plot.
Published 3 days ago by mr a aragona
5.0 out of 5 stars wow
movie is extremely touching and thought provoking especially for me who abhors most sadistic history I cant help but embrace it as learning from the mistakes of history.
Published 3 days ago by Mr Russell Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film
A very sensitive and interesting approach to describing the holocaust that spans time and brings history into the present. Great watch.
Published 4 days ago by Clare Brass
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and thought provocing
A fascinating film, which highlights the French involvement in dissolving the Jewish population within France, during World War 11. Moving story, well acted and directed. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Mrs. Amanda J. Rolleston
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect
Wow!! a proper masterpiece...Being Anglo-french this movie and the whole cast especially Miss Scott Thomas are just a proper joy to watch. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Nicholas Roddy Antoine
4.0 out of 5 stars Sarah's Key DVD
this film is very thought provoking. Kristin Scott Thomas is brilliant! I live in France and was lent the book by a french friend. Read more
Published 15 days ago by lobby
5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah's Key DVD
After watching the book thief my daughter said if i liked that film i would love Sarah's Key which i did, Very good film
Published 16 days ago by Pepe
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant DVD
Great story and well acted. Would recommend to anyone who likes an interesting topic. Will no doubt watch it a second time.
Published 1 month ago by Daisy
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching
I liked this film, as much as you can with this subject. The acting was good, and the storyline was such that my attention was fully engaged. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sarah Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Bitter sweet.
A sad history of France's involvement with WWII atrocities, with a humanizing tale of a little girl. Avery good movie over all ,
Published 1 month ago by Wras
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