Charlotte Gray (2001)

(In theaters, March 2002) Whenever you get tired of loud action-packed WW2 dramas, why not go for quiet drama-packed WW2 dramas? Charlotte Gray takes a different approach to a common historical subject, almost a feminine/romantic angle as compared to the usual masculine/action focus. The incomparable Cate Blanchett plays the titular heroine, a young Scottish woman send deep behind the lines of Vichy France to liaise between the French Resistance and the English Secret Service. What follows is a long, sometimes dull, drama involving collaborators, resistance, Jewish children and Gray herself. While not overly absorbing, it’s a nice change of pace from the usual war film, and it manages to build up to a credible climax. Some threads -probably inherited from the source novel- are a bit superfluous and should have been strengthened or cut entirely. The acting is fine, though purists like your reviewer would have liked it best that the characters would have spoken the appropriate languages. (Here, like in Chocolat, everyone speaks British English, except for the rustic French, who speak English with a French accent… sigh…)

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