Monday, May 21, 2012

Sarah's Key (2010)

Over two years ago, I read and reviewed Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay after it had been selected for one of my book clubs.  Most people love this book.  I'm not sure I loved it, but was completely taken in by the story of Sarah, a little girl who survives a Parisian Jewish round-up during WWII.  I was less than enthralled by the modern day portion of the story about Julia Jarmond, who investigates Sarah's story while struggling with her own personal issues.  


Because of my lukewarm feelings about the book, I wasn't in a hurry to see the movie.  The movie had a very limited release, and was only showing in Orlando for a short time.  But several friends of mine were able to see the movie and loved it.  Plus I do love Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient) and thought she might be able to soften up my irritation with the character of Julia.   
   
Overall, I felt a bit more positive about the film than the book.  Thomas portrayed more of a thoughtful, feeling business woman and less of a whiner and martyr.  But she and the little girl who played Sarah were the only actors that made any kind of an impression.  The attraction is more the story, which is positively heartbreaking in so many ways.


The book-to-movie translation, from what I remember from my reading experience, was very true to form.  The portrayal of Sarah was just exactly what you would want...full of fire and determination.  There were no shortcuts taken, no major plot points eliminated, and the emotions and the tension was just as intense (if not more so) than the book.  My stomach hurt almost from the very beginning, and knowing what was coming, forced upon me some really UGLY crying jags.  No sniffling, but chest-heaving sobs, hands over the face, swollen eyes.  There isn't anything graphic shown, but the implication of the various tragedies was just as bad.  


I was unsatisfied with the ending of the book, and while all that predictability was muted by the movie, it was still there and came across as particularly corny.  My husband was invested up to the last 15 minutes or so, but then proceeded to do a few eye rolls.  I was more forgiving because I was still busy being emotional.  






Overall, if you read the book, liked it, and don't mind a good cry, I would recommend renting this one. 
  

16 comments:

Beth F said...

We loved the movie (even with the ending) and wanted to immediately read the book, which neither us did. Since you say the movie follows the book closely, I don't think I'll bother reading. Such an emotional story.

Anna said...

I felt the same way you did about the book, loved Sarah's story and cried my eyes out but Julia's story was just meh. I've been wanting to see the movie, though, but it's never in Red Box when we're itching to rent something.

bermudaonion said...

I saw the movie in the theater with a friend I actually met when we lived in France. We both loved it and were amazed at how much of the French we could still understand. (It's been 18 years since we lived there.)

Marie said...

I agree with you 100%. I thought the filmmakers did a great job of shaving off the weaker aspects of the book and making a really solid adaptation. Kristin Scott Thomas deserves a lot of credit for making Julia more sympathetic! I really didn't like her in the book either.

Jo-Jo said...

I also didn't love this book because of the modern day storyline. When we watched the movie my husband said about Julia "What do these people have to do with the story?"

Carrie K. said...

I have been avoiding this one because the modern storyline in the book didn't work for me at all. I think I'll go ahead and give it a try. :)

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I haven't seen this but the book is on my TBR shelf...glad you told me about the sobbing...I'll make sure I'm in the right kind of mood before reading this one. :)

Literary Feline said...

Thanks for your thoughts on this one, Sandy! I haven't yet read the book, but I do want to. I think I've put off reading it because of the mixed reviews of it. I am glad you liked the movie better (how often does that happen?!).

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I wasn't a big fan of the book. I loved Sarah's story, but like you, Julia's didn't work for me at all. I watched the movie recently and actually liked it more.

Alyce said...

I still haven't read the book, and I wasn't even aware that it had been made into a movie. I'll definitely watch this one alone if I decide to view it, since I don't like doing the ugly cry in front of others. :)

Zibilee said...

I really remember loving the book, so I would probably love the movie as well. I don't know if I am up for ugly crying right now, but will be keeping it in mind for the future :)

caite said...

I love Kristin Scott Thomas but that word corny..and eye rolls...hmmm.

Amy said...

I haven't read the book yet but I've been curious about the movie since it's on Netflix streaming. I also like Kristin Scott Thomas.

It sounds like the movie is worth watching. I'm glad you liked it a littl more than the book!

Julie P. said...

Won't be rushing to see this. Maybe I'll catch it on cable sometime!

JoAnn said...

This is available to watch instantly on Netfix now... just moved to the top of my queue!

Kathleen said...

My quibbles with the book were the same as yours but it sounds like the movie is worth seeing.