Sunday, April 14, 2024

IRENA’S VOW (2024) is a Fathom event

Sophie Nélisse stars as Irene Gut Opdyke, who during the second world war decided that she had to do something, so when she learned that the ghetto was going to be leveled she decided to hide as many Jews as possible in the safest place she could think of…the basement of the home of the Nazi officer for whom she was working.

This is a good war time bio/thriller. Telling a tale most of us haven’t heard of and fewer of us wouldn’t believe if it wasn’t true, IRENA’S VOW connects us to the past by telling us a really compelling tale.  That the story of the rescue is only part of the story is what makes this film something worth seeing.

If I was to say that there is any flaw in the film it’s in the casting of Sophie Nélisse in the lead. While perfectly adequate in the role she never changes her expression through almost the entire film. From first shot to almost the last she wears the look of a wounded deer in the headlights. While on some level it is understandable, it also makes her less like a person and more like a mannequin. It kept me disconnected from the film (though I was connected to the story). It’s not fatal but it kept me from being as deeply moved as I might have been.

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