Not just another Holocaust story
This overlooked gem is based on the excellent novel and movingly depicts a lesser known Holocaust related story. In 1942 the French commissioned the “Vel d’Hiv” a round-up of Jews living in Paris ultimately sending them to death camps. “Sarah’s Key” looks achingly at this tragedy from two vantage points — a little girl (Melusine Mayance) whose family is part of the heart wrenching gathering and an American journalist (Kristen Scott Thomas) who, now some 68 years later is commissioned to write an article about the event. When she learns of a family secret related to the “Vel d’Hiv,” her curiosity turns to terror. While this adaptation covers just the basics of the novel, it is nonetheless well executed and avoids histrionic manipulation, allowing just enough breathing room without truncating the raw emotion of the book. Thomas offers a wonderfully restrained portrayal while Mayance gives one of the most layered and harrowing performances you will likely see from a child actor.