‘Sarah’s Key’: A Haunting Drama About Post-Holocaust Guilt

You’d be forgiven if you think that you’ve seen just about every possible permutation of a holocaust-themed film. You might even be fed up with those movies altogether after sitting through the likes of Roberto Benigni’s icky Oscar-winning debacle “Life Is Beautiful” or the treacly and gruesome “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.”

But the French import “Sarah’s Key” threw me for a loop. Yes, it focuses on an incident of World War II–era anti-Semitism, but it also looks at how the horrors of war can have lasting impact on both victims and those who profited from that victimization.

Kristin Scott Thomas, who’s been showing off her perfect French on-screen pretty much since her movie debut in Prince’s “Under the Cherry Moon,” stars as Julia, a globe-trotting journalist who’s in the process of renovating the Paris apartment that her husband’s family has owned for decades.


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